Published on March 23, 2011

Human Genetics Commission

Past projects

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Involve delivered a project with TNS-BMRB to explore ways in which a new Departmental Expert Committee in the Department of Health on Human Genetics can best engage with the public. The committee will replace the Human Genetics Commission.

In response to the Comprehensive Spending Review and the review of arms length bodies, in October 2010 the government agreed to reconstitute the Human Genetics Commission (HGC) as a Departmental Expert Committee (DEC).

This project has been commissioned by the Department of Health to inform the design of a new framework for advice on the social, ethical and legal implications around advances in genetics. The research considered how advice on these issues can best be formulated as well as the DEC’s approach to public engagement, openness and transparency, whilst taking into account the context of a constraint funding environment.

Involve particularly explored practice and issues arising from public engagement, openness and transparency. This included researching a number of other Scientific Advisory Committees, as well as reviewing innovative practice and low cost models of public engagement. Besides desk research and interviews, a workshop with government officials was organised to test the findings and further inform the development of a framework for the new DEC.

The review was overseen by the Human Genetics Strategy Group together with support from Sciencewise-ERC.

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