24 January 2023 – Public Perception of Genetics

A survey of over 2000 British adults finds that trust in genetics is high and went up significantly during the pandemic. It also finds that there is a hunger for more coverage of genetics.

In a study funded by the Genetics Society, a survey of over 2000 randomly selected British adults was commissioned through public polling company Kantar Public.

You can download the report on the public perception of genetics here and can find the technical report here.


Main conclusions of the survey:

1. More than a third of the UK public report an increase in trust in science through the pandemic

2. In particular, attitudes to genetics have become more positive

3. Nearly a half of the UK public would like to hear more about science in the media (and fewer than 10% think there is too much science)

4. University academics, NHS spokespersons and governmental advisors are all well trusted sources.


The survey also led to a research paper in Plos Biology titled “People with more extreme attitudes towards science have self-confidence in their understanding of science, even if this is not justified”.

Heredity Special Issue: 100 Years of Genetics

This year marks the centenary of the UK Genetics Society, founded amidst the clash of ideas following the rediscovery of Mendel’s work in the early twentieth century. It’s an important opportunity to reflect on our progress in understanding the nature of heredity. In this special issue, we celebrate the centenary through the ideas of its Presidents, past and present. They weren’t given much of a brief – just a platform to discuss their work, and that of others, their many joys, and their thoughts of the past and for the future. The result is a hugely enjoyable and distinctive collection of articles that poses many new questions.

Guest editor: Alison Woollard, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford


Review Article