Young people and predictive genetic diagnostics

Pitopia, Erwin Wodicka, 2014
Young people dealing with ethical, legal and social questions about predictive genetic diagnostics
2012 - 2013
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research


The project examines predictive genetic tests and their consequences for individuals and their friends and families. It has the wider goal of contributing to the rationality and validity of public communication and to the formation of opinion and decisions by young people. Principally, this should be done by addressing youth editors, in order to bring the discussion of predictive genetic tests into the repertoire of topics covered by the media and internet. A further emphasis is using "predictive genetic testing" as an example of new technologies and their consequences, to be anchored in political education.
As a first step, the project develops risk scenarios. These provide practical background information to show the types of activity where the opportunities and risks of predictive genetic testing arise. As part of a youth forum with 50 participants, the relevant influencing factors for young people concerning a genetic testing decision are presented. A contest for young journalists will then bring young people's individual approach to the opportunities and risks of predictive genetic testing into the public eye.
These results will be brought together in a toolbox for political education. This toolbox contains materials and instruments to empower young people for decisions and discussions about predictive genetic testing and to facilitate access to the technology debate for the students and group leaders. The building blocks of the methodical approach (risk scenarios, materials for workshops, journalistic contributions by young editors) make up the equipment of the toolbox. An open internet weblog provides a further basis. This will be moderated with the focus on predictive genetic tests. At a meta level, the project should increase the visibility of young people's positions in discussions as well as promote interest in the topic among young journalists.

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, funding code: 01GP1176


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