Genomics, integrated with biomedical ethics, will be taught at age appropriate levels throughout the school system, so genomic literacy within the general population will be way higher than it is today. Everyone will be getting her or his own genome sequenced in utero, before birth.
A: My work would be totally different. Genomics, integrated with biomedical ethics, will be taught at age appropriate levels throughout the school system, so genomic literacy within the general population will be way higher than it is today. Everyone will be getting her or his own genome sequenced in utero, before birth. This genomic information will be used to allow for the correction or intervention of any genetic variations that would otherwise immediately ‘present’ life-threatening conditions. This intervention will happen only under tight control because society has learned from history and will have agreed that diversity in all its forms is incredibly valuable for the enrichment it brings to all aspects of life.
In the future that I like to imagine, psychiatric conditions are no longer stigmatized but are accepted and managed in the same way as are other common, complex illnesses. In this new context, I would be studying the specific ways in which genetic variations that predispose people to psychiatric illness, also increase their resilience, adaptability, and creativity. I would be developing strategies to help people living with psychiatric problems unlock the potential of the genetic variations that they carry, to help them achieve their full potential for happiness and fulfillment.
A: My work will have contributed to increased awareness of the profession of genetic counselling and of the excellent outcomes it can provide for patients. The profession of genetic counselling will be as well known as medicine or nursing, and genetic counsellors will be integrated throughout all medical disciplines. Everyone will have a family genetic counsellor in the same way as we have family doctors now. The role of the genetic counsellor will be well understood too; people will understand that the genetic counsellor’s role is to help people to not only understand their genomes and how it relates to their health, but also to help people manage the uncertainty (because our genome is not nearly as deterministic as we might have imagined) and emotional issues that will often accompany genomic information.