Genetics for behavioral and social scientists: Web-based educational program is launched

A free online educational program on Genetics and Social Science: Expanding Transdisciplinary Research was recently posted.  It was created by the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics, with support from the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) of the National Institutes of Health. 

As described on the website, the program aims “to provide sufficient genetics background to allow social and behavioral scientists (SBS) to engage effectively in interdisciplinary research with genetics researchers. The overarching goal of this project is to create an educational program that will improve social scientists' genetics literacy in the following areas:

  • Conversation: Users will demonstrate structural genetics literacy, which is defined as the ability to understand genetics conceptual schemes, understand procedural knowledge and skills, and explain genetics concepts in the user's own words.

  • Imagination: Users will show increased ability to conceive of progressive but feasible studies.

  • Evaluation: Users will demonstrate skills necessary to assess genetics research for validity and utility.

  • Integration: To provide sufficient knowledge to support the integration of genetics concepts into the user's own research, and to allow for collaborative studies with geneticists.”

Remarking on the program, OBSSR director Robert M. Kaplan said, "It's the first of its kind, and it fills a need for this type of training and education which has existed for some time in the research community."