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Socialising the Genome Project
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What we did

Project where Social Science meets Creative Industry.


6 focus groups were completed with members of the public in the UK. The objectives of these were to explore how issues to do with genetics and DNA are currently being discussed (and to listen to the natural conversation that occurs when I asked participants to explore what the terms mean).


The themes that came from these focus groups were then discussed with Julian Borra, Creative Director from the Thin Air Factory. Julian overlaid a creative story onto each theme. Together we turned these into the scripts for 6 animations.


The animations were made by Fabrika, who also designed a research website for us. The webiste hosts the animations and is used as a research tool to gather feeback about the animations. Our ultimate objective is to find new and innovative ways to describe genomics to people who know nothing about it. We are aiming to tap into their existing knowledge using metaphors, memes and conversation that they are already using.


We have data in from 2000+ people that assesses the animations in terms of likability, interest, informational content and sharability. This work is being written up for publication.

In the meantime a montage of two of the films has been selected to show at the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles.


Sky news on our project

Article in the Observer

Radio Interview, BBC Cambridgeshire

the 'Making of' film about project

Kyoto, Japan

International Congress Human Genetics, April 2016


Spoken presentation

Research Website


Funded by a three-way partnership between:

Wellcome Genome Campus (40k)

Genomics England (40k) and

Public Engagement People Award Wellcome Trust (40k)

Anna Middleton
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