Imagined as a sort of science “boot camp” for reporters, Genomics for Journalists is a multi-day workshop designed to arm journalists—including those without deep backgrounds in science—with the knowledge and context they need to cover newsworthy science, health, and environment issues with confidence. Genomics—the study of collections of genes, their structure and function, and how they work together within organisms—is increasingly central to advances in health, agriculture, and environmental science, as well as law enforcement and criminal justice.
Genomics for Journalists is for working reporters and covers the basic science of genomics, including exploration of advances in the field that are changing the way diseases are diagnosed and treated, novel crop varieties are developed, forensic evidence is interpreted, and new materials and fuels are being produced.
The workshop includes faculty presentations, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and hands-on scientific laboratory experiences. Topics covered include such items as genomics, genealogy, and criminal justice; genomic editing in health, medicine, and agriculture; direct-to-consumer genetic testing; diet, microbiome, and health; ecosystems and environmental genomics; and the ethical, legal, and social issues raised by genomic advances. The workshop also holds lab exercises featuring hands-on experience with editing bacterial genomes.
Genomics for Journalists is being offered jointly by SciLine, an independent, nonpartisan, philanthropically supported service hosted by the nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the IGB.