A Web Screening on Educational Initiatives to Increase Citizens’ Literacy on Genomics and Genetics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Population awareness and empowerment in omics sciences represent a fundamental driver to increase the adoption of evidence-based approaches in personalized medicine. In this context, a pivotal role is played by citizens’ literacy, and educational initiatives carried out in this context are key assets to drive future effective interventions. With the present study, we summarized the educational initiatives conducted worldwide aimed at increasing citizens’ literacy in omics sciences. Materials and Methods: We conducted a web search of the educational initiatives aimed at improving citizens’ literacy in omics sciences undertaken worldwide, by using three search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo Search), in English and in Italian languages. Results: We identified five initiatives in Europe, 22 in non-European countries, and 13 in Italy. Overall, the majority (69%) were web-based initiatives, while 31% required in-person attendance. The online initiatives included web pages for reading, online lessons/courses, web portals, videos/short movies, animations, and apps for mobile devices. The residential initiatives, on the other hand, included exhibitions, seminars, courses, symposia, information stands in public places, guided visits to research laboratories, and interactive laboratories. All the initiatives were highly heterogeneous in terms of methodologies and the topics addressed. Discussion and Conclusion: Overall, we identified a variety of initiatives aimed at improving citizens’ literacy in omics sciences, with the largest majority carried out in the United States and being web-based. Our results showed heterogeneity among the initiatives as to the dealt topics and the adopted methods. Further research is needed, however, to quantitatively assess the effectiveness of educational initiatives to improve citizens’ literacy in omics sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • citizens
  • initiatives
  • literacy
  • omics sciences
  • personalized medicine

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