Public awareness and knowledge of genomics/ genomic medicines is low

Ipsos MORI was commissioned by Genomics England to conduct a short poll to investigate the public’s awareness of issues around genomics and genomic medicines.

Public awareness and knowledge of genomics/ genomic medicines is low

The author(s)

  • Laura Thomas Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Joanna Barry Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
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Relatively few of the public feel that they are well informed around genomics/genomic medicine with only one in ten (11%) stating they knew a great deal or a fair amount and a significant minority (37%) reporting they know nothing at all about this subject.

Almost seven in ten (68%) could not recall seeing, hearing or reading anything on this subject in the last three months, while a small minority report they had seen services offering online genetic profiling for individuals, such as “23andMe” (17%) and about new techniques for scientists to be able to edit the genomes of plants, animals or humans (16%).

Attitudes towards genomics is mixed which is unsurprising given the lack of awareness of the topic.  Around three in ten (29%) report having a positive attitude to genomics at present but a quarter (25%) are undecided and a further 43% state they don’t know enough to form an opinion.

Concerns about ethical and data protection issues raised by genomic research are equally divided. Almost a third (32%) report some level of concern (either very or slightly concerned) while under a quarter (23%) are unconcerned (not very or not at all concerned) and 45% state they don’t know enough to form a judgement.

Reports

Read the full report here.

Technical details

Ipsos MORI undertook 1,926 online interviews with a representative sample of adults aged 16 – 75 across England. The questions were placed on Ipsos MORI’s Online Omnibus and fieldwork took place between Friday 25th and Tuesday 29th May 2018. A quota sample of adults was interviewed with quotas set by age within gender, region, social grade and working status. The survey data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

The author(s)

  • Laura Thomas Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Joanna Barry Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

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