Genetics education for social scientists

4 January 2012

A new genetics education programme specifically aimed at social and behavioural scientists has been launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US.
Developed by the National Coalition for Health Profession Education in Genetics (NCHPEG) with the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), the online materials have been designed to provide researchers with sufficient genetics background to be able to interact productively with geneticists on interdisciplinary research projects, and to integrate genetics concepts in their own research.
Genetics and Social Science: Expanding Transdisciplinary Research features four interactive case studies based on tobacco, obesity, depression, and breast cancer, and explores key topics including genetic variation, gene-environment interactions, and population, clinical and research issues.

Comment: Appropriate education in genetics is an important means of allowing experts in other fields to engage with geneticists on projects of mutual interest, so this is a valuable initiative. Equally, genetic scientists can benefit from learning about some of the key concepts from other fields. For additional free online learning resources in the area of public health genomics, see the PHG Foundation’s interactive tutorials. 

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