What does it mean to be genomically literate?: National Human Genome Research Institute Meeting Report

Genet Med. 2013 Aug;15(8):658-63. doi: 10.1038/gim.2013.14. Epub 2013 Feb 28.


Genomic discoveries will increasingly advance the science of medicine. Limited genomic literacy may adversely impact the public's understanding and use of the power of genetics and genomics in health care and public health. In November 2011, a meeting was held by the National Human Genome Research Institute to examine the challenge of achieving genomic literacy for the general public, from kindergarten to grade 12 to adult education. The role of the media in disseminating scientific messages and in perpetuating or reducing misconceptions was also discussed. Workshop participants agreed that genomic literacy will be achieved only through active engagement between genomics experts and the varied constituencies that comprise the public. This report summarizes the background, content, and outcomes from this meeting, including recommendations for a research agenda to inform decisions about how to advance genomic literacy in our society.

Publication types

  • Congress
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Communications Media*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Genetic Research
  • Genome, Human
  • Genomics / education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Literacy*
  • Humans
  • National Human Genome Research Institute (U.S.)
  • Public Health
  • Research
  • Schools
  • United States