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New projects to explore societal implications of genomics research

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ottawa, Ontario

Genome Canada is pleased to announce five new projects that will receive funding under the Genome Canada and Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Joint Initiative on Societal Implications of Genomics Research. The projects were announced by the Minister of Science, the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, earlier today as part of a major SSHRC grants and scholarships funding announcement.

The overall objective of the Genome Canada-SSHRC joint initiative is to support social sciences and humanities research and related activities that will enrich our understanding of the societal implications of genomic research. It is also intended to help build the cadre of social sciences and humanities scholars interested in pursuing genomics-related research collaborations and facilitate their becoming part of multidisciplinary teams applying to Genome Canada applied research competitions.

Genome Canada and SSHRC are investing a total of approximately $600,000 in the five new projects, which include:

  • Big data collaborative networks: the role of communication in the development of genomic technologies – Peter Chow-White, Simon Fraser University
  • Creating consumer-oriented value in genetically modified foods: exploring consumer attitudes and willingness to pay –  David Di Zhang, University of Saskatchewan
  • @Risk: strengthening Canada’s ability to manage risk – Monica Gattinger, University of Ottawa
  • Communicating synthetic biology: deliberative strategies for addressing emergent biohype about living devices – David Secko, Concordia University.
  • Préférences sociétales concernant la divulgation des découvertes fortuites issues de la génomique clinique : Perspectives de patients atteints de cancer et de la population générale – Michel Dorval, Université Laval

"Research that examines the societal implications of genomics research is critical in maximizing the benefits and minimizing the risks associated with this emerging area of science and technology. We are pleased to work with SSHRC to advance research that is tackling complex questions being raised as genomics transforms our society," said Marc LePage, President and CEO, Genome Canada.

"All innovation is inherently social, which means the social sciences and humanities are especially important in this time of rapid change. SSHRC-funded scholars and researchers can provide guidance on important changes that are affecting society. Developing a vibrant and long-term culture of innovation in Canada is essential to building a bold and bright future for all Canadians," said Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.