Test your genetic knowledge
Cast your mind back to the Naked Genetics podcast from June 2016, and you’d have heard Kat Arney interviewing Robert Chapman from Goldsmiths University of London about a pilot study he was carrying out to look at public knowledge and understanding about genetics - aiming to find out what people know, what they don't know, and what they think they know, as well as finding out if there are any gaps or areas of concern in specific age or ethnic groups.
Robert - So for example, do people from certain ethnic groups have different concerns to other groups - are there age differences, are there international differences, is the way that genetics is taught at school a predictor of concerns and things like that. So, we're really trying to do an empirical quantitative study, I believe for the first time, in the broad area of genetics. There has been research in this area, focusing on medical genetics, but not generally the issues that they apply across society so that's the new thing hopefully.
Kat - So everything from pea plants to pandas.
Robert - Exactly, yeah. I couldn't say it better.
Kat - So tell me a bit more about the study. What are you actually doing? What are you asking? Who are you asking?
Robert - So I can't give too much away because we've just piloted it and I'm hoping that some or all of your readers will be interested enough to engage with the study when it is published. But we're looking at what people know about genetics so there are general knowledge questions. We're looking at how they feel about genetics. So do they have concerns for example about genetically modified foods? We're also asking for information about their demographics. So this is very much a first stage. We're hoping to talk to as many people as possible. We're aiming for about 5,000 participants and stratified by profession and country. We're asking people whether they're parents or students so we can really build-up a picture of the demographics of our participants and see if there are any trends that we can spot which might help us target training material information more effectively.
Kat - I’m pleased to tell you that Robert’s full survey, the International Genetic Literacy and Attitude Survey, is now online at http://tagc.world/iglas/ - not only is it a fun quiz to test your genetics knowledge, but it’s providing important data to help the scientific community communicate genetics better in the future, so please do take a few minutes to fill it in. That’s http://tagc.world/iglas/