genomics & society

Posts Tagged ‘NPR’

Telling Fact from “Non-Fiction”

Posted by Myra I. Roche on April 11, 2012

The previous post which can be found here has generated a couple of comments so far.  One was from Kelly Hogan, one of the contributors to this blog.   Her comment can be found here.  We also received a comment from Phil Harrell of NPR after we sent this email:  The UNC Center for Genomics and Society blog has taken the opportunity of using the story aired April 1, 2012 about the fictitious preschool requiring DNA samples to help our trainees who study ELSI (Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project) topics develop critical thinking skills about genetic testing. Entitled: Fact or Fiction: Analyzing Media Reports about Genetic Testing, the post can be found at Thanks for giving us this great example.

He responded:  Hi, my name is Phil Harrell; I’m the producer behind that April Fool’s gag.  This is SUCH a cool use of that bit of silliness!  Thanks for letting us know.  Read the rest of this entry »


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Fact or Fiction: Analyzing Media Reports about Genetic Testing

Posted by Myra I. Roche on April 5, 2012

One goal of creating this Center for Genomics and Society blog was to encourage communication within and between the Centers for Excellence in ELSI Research (CEERs).  We welcome members of the other NIH-sponsored CEERs (Case Western Reserve University, Columbia University, Duke University, Oregon Health Sciences University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Washington)  to our virtual conversations and hope to hear from all of you.  We invite you to contribute by submitting comments and/or writing posts.  The “About” page tells how to get started.

The topic of genetic testing has been extensively covered by the media but it can sometimes be challenging to sort out fact from fiction.  One tactic is to obtain information from credible sources.  But that technique backfired for some readers of a recent NPR report.  Usually a very credible source, NPR reported a story about a prestigious new preschool on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that plans to require their tiny applicants to submit a DNA sample in order to be considered for admission.  Why did this story raise some hackles?  Read the article and the comments here and decide for yourself.  It is even more fun, and, interestingly much more convincing, to listen to it, even though essentially the same words are used.  Try it here yourself and tell us if you agree or not.  The familiar sound effect at the very end serves as the biggest clue. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Genetic Testing, Health Literacy, media reports | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »