The British Science Association (BSA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Genomics England.  Announced during British Science Week, the largest grassroots celebration of STEM in the UK, which is managed and coordinated by the BSA, the partnership will be to support a new series of the BSA’s Future Debates.

The BSA wants to empower many more people – not just scientists – to constructively engage in debates over science’s role in their lives, their local economy, and the UK’s future.

To make sure these conversations are happening at a local level, we are incredibly pleased to be working with Genomics England as well as the BSA’s branches and other local event organisers to run debates across the country.

Imran Khan, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, said:

“I am delighted that Genomics England have decided to work with us on this new partnership on the 100,000 Genomes Project. At the British Science Association we strongly believe that more people should feel empowered to constructively engage in debates over science’s role in our lives, our society, and the UK’s economy.

“Genomics England's work is vital to helping us adapt to and shape a future where our genes and genomes will have a bigger impact on our health and wellbeing. We hope that this series of debates in the summer will not only help the UK public feel more invested in genomics research but will also allow them to have a say on its direction.”

Genomics England was set up by the Department of Health to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project. The Project aims to sequence 100,000 genomes from about 70,000 people.  Participants are NHS patients with certain types of cancer and patients with rare diseases plus their families. The Project is creating a new genomic medicine service for the NHS to support better diagnosis and better treatments for patients. It is also enabling medical research and aims to kick-start a UK genomics industry. This is the largest sequencing effort of its kind in the world.

Vivienne Parry, Genomics England’s Head of Engagement said:

“It’s very important that debates about the future of genomics and the use of data in healthcare take place at a local level. So we are very excited to be working with the British Science Association and its great local networks on ‘Future Debates’. Having long been involved with the BSA, I know that through them, we’ll have a great series of lively debates.”

Over the next few months, the BSA and Genomics England will be working together to run the Future Debates series in the summer, as well as publishing a social intelligence report in the late spring.

To find out more about the 100,000 Genomes Project, please visit

Meanwhile, NHS centres involved in the 100,000 Genomes project will be offering people a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of hospital labs and scientific facilities as part of Healthcare Science Week, which is part of British Science Week.