Genetics, Law and Society


1 Saturday

Day and time:

Sat 10am-5pm

Next course: Starting date
Saturday, 16 Jun 2018
Future courses: Upcoming dates

Course overview


Goldsmiths, University of London

A combination of science, law and ethics - learn how genetic findings affect you and society.

In this Saturday short course you will learn about legal and ethical implications of genetic findings, including:

  • Potential misuses of human genetic findings, including misuses of genetic data / information, data breaches, and data protection;
  • Genetic discrimination (employment, insurance, race, mental etc.)
  • Commercialisation of genetic research
  • Gene editing (also incorrectly referred to as designer babies); and
  • Criminal liability in the genomic era.
  • Impact of inequality (beyond poverty) on peoples’ genes (heritability) - from the authors of Genes and Gini: what inequality means for heritability.

In relation to Genes and Gini, you will learn about:

  • the Gini coefficient, inequality internationally, and its impact on peoples’ lives; including child development, heath and social cohesion;
  • heritability: what is, how it works and what it means for society; and
  • you will learn about the link between inequality and heritability. How inequality affects gene expression, and ultimately, heritability.

The course is a combination of science, law and ethics. It includes basic knowledge of data protection laws, potential misuses of data and findings, and of skills necessary to legally and ethically handle research with human genetic data at international level.  

The course will also cover historical developments. 

Following completion of this course, students should better understand:

  1. legal issues related to genetic research;
  2. the level of legal protection in place;
  3. the impact of commercialisation of genetic research on society and legal development;
  4. the practical steps required to conduct research legally and ethically;
  5. real and unsupported risks of misuse of peoples’ data;
  6. real and unsupported risks of discrimination based on genetic data;
  7. misreporting of science;
  8. origins of misconceptions of genetic findings and related societal implications; and
  9. the potential impact of inequality on genes (heritability).

All AIR courses & About AIR

Future courses

Upcoming dates:
Saturday, 16 Jun 2018 - Saturday, 16 Jun 2018

How to Apply

Please click on the date of the course you'd like to attend below. You'll be taken to Eventbrite, which is our booking system:

All enquiries can be sent to Teemu Toivainen at (020 7078 5468)


Cancellations up to 14 days before the course start date will incur a 20% cancellation fee. For later cancellations, or non attendance, the full course fee will be charged.


  • 10% if you are taking two courses in consecutive weeks
  • 20% UK students
  • 25% UK Law & Society Association (UKLSA) Members
  • If five people register from the same institution for the same intake, the fifth place is free
  • Goldsmiths students, staff and alumni - email us for current discounts



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