Who we are
The Canadian Institute for Genomics and Society (Genomics4S) is a nonprofit organization that advances the public knowledge and understanding of the emerging genomic, stem cell and assisted reproductive technologies and their societal implications, and works to ensure responsible innovation in biomedicine and the bio-sciences. We promote engaged scholarship in academic disciplines such as bioethics, science and technology studies (STS), science communication, health science, public health, global health, and innovation studies.
Why we do this
Scientific knowledge is fundamental to politics, economics, culture, and public life of modern society and science and technology can dramatically improve human condition. We are committed to rigorous theoretical and applied research that empowers citizens in the knowledge-based society, helps bridge the gap between science and technology innovation and its deployment for the public good, and embraces the values of open society - moral universalism, social justice, equity, human rights, diversity, and tolerance. There is a great deal of media hype surrounding groundbreaking discoveries in biomedical sciences that distorts public perceptions and fosters unrealistic expectations about clinical translation. We live in a time of increasing societal and commercial pressures to harness the potential of medical and biological engineering and translate research findings quickly into the healthcare practice. Effective science communication, public outreach and citizen engagement can contribute to a more informed citizenry, increase transparency in decision-making processes, and elevate the public discourse on the emerging technologies.
What we do
Our interdisciplinary team of researchers, science communicators, bioethicists, and policy consultants works to promote responsible innovation in biomedicine through research, ethics analysis and consultation, public outreach and public engagement. Our research, consulting and knowledge dissemination activities include:
Blog posts on ethical and policy concerns regarding innovation in genomics, genetic testing, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, gene editing, gene drive technology, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), genetic discrimination, human enhancement, gene therapy, stem cell research and therapy, assisted reproductive technologies, and other relevant topics;
Identifying ethical and policy challenges for innovation in healthcare delivery and services in both national and global contexts;
Research on public perceptions and attitudes towards the emerging biotechnologies and analysis of media representations;
Advancing stakeholder engagement and citizen participation in science and technology innovation;
Science communication training for scientists and science students;
Café Scientifique scheme to increase the public understanding of controversial developments in biomedicine and the bio-sciences;
Scholarly collaborations in bioethics, the social studies of biomedicine, science and technology policy, public health, global health, and related disciplines.