The LESIG UK first session took place on 1 March 2018. The Session was organised in collaboration with InLab, Goldsmiths University of London, and was hosted by New York University, London.

The 1st Session was a great success. Despite weather disruption leading to significant reduction in the number of attendees, the session was attended by practitioners, researchers and judges specialising in a range of areas, including on human rights, crime, sports, philosophy, professional negligence, cloud computing, and data protection.  This first exchange of ideas among the experts was incredibly valuable to the work of LESIG.

A brief summary of the 1st Session

Participants were provided with a general overview of the current work of LESIG (UK and Russia) and some of its long- and short-term aims. Participants engaged in discussions about current legal and ethical implications of genetic findings, and also completed selected parts of the International Genetics Literacy and Attitudes Survey (iGLAS).

A brief update on legal and ethical implications of genetic findings was also provided. This included the scale of information that can be extracted from human genetic data; how this information can be misused, and applicable areas of law; and the large-scale whole-genome sequencing research projects internationally and data breaches.

The Group discussed the urgent need to raise public awareness and knowledge of genetics, as well as to regulate the use of information extracted from genetic data, to protect individuals and science.

Important genetic science concepts were also discussed. This included findings in relation to origins of traits, genetic influences, within group and across groups variability; epigenetic processes and gene-environment co-action processes.

An action plan for the Group was formulated. Read more about the work of LESIG.