Launch Events

  • Host a themed opening event
  • Host an event on DNA Day on April 25. National DNA Day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953. The American Society of Human Genetics hosts an annual essay contest for high school students to celebrate DNA Day.
  • Host a fish DNA barcoding workshop, allowing participants to bring in their own fish sample from a sushi restaurant or grocer and test it to see if it was labeled correctly by reading its DNA barcode. Kits can be purchased from Bio-Rad and include shipping the samples for analysis.
  • Host a Science Café, with a group of panelists engaging in an informal discussion with the general public, preferably at a venue other than your facility. Topics may include:
    • Are We Our Genes? Is your destiny in your DNA? To what extent does our genetic makeup determine our health, characteristics and behaviour? How does the environment play a role in shaping who we are? A better understanding of how our genes and the environment combine will help us understand disease and develop better medicines.
    • From Titanic to Tomorrow: Unlocking Genetic Secrets of the Past, Present and Future Commemorate the Titanic's first and final voyage with a look backward in time and forwards to the future. From identifying the youngest victim of the Titanic, to personalized medicine and genetic counseling, explore what genetic research happening near you can tell us about our past, present and future.
    • The CSI Effect: What is fact and fiction in forensic science? TV shows and movies about crime solving have exploded in popularity in recent years, but real-life forensic research is much more complicated, and much more diverse, than what we see on the screen. Is forensic science in the media actually affecting real-life court cases, and are criminals walking free because of junk science?
    • Thinking Extinction: Should we try to save all species (and maybe bring some back?) The current rate of species loss on our planet is alarming, but scientists and conservationists are divided about the best response to this extinction crisis. Is it possible to save all species, and should we even try? What is the value of a species, and what is lost in extinction? If it is not possible to save all species, how should we make decisions about where to focus our conservation efforts? Do we have a responsibility to conserve as many species as possible... or even bring some back?

Consider hosting a special event or events themed around the following:

  • Genomics, Ethics and Theater: Using the theater for inspiration, the public, scientists and artists will be encouraged to engage in conversations about genomics and society.
  • Citizen Science, Social Media and Research: Leaders in consumer-oriented genetics will engage in a panel discussion about the ways people are using social media to access information on biomedical research and their personal health.
  • Genomics: Ethical? Legal? Socially Responsible? Two panelists will debate the pros and cons of a controversial topic in genomics. The audience has an opportunity to discuss the issue in small groups, pose questions to the debaters and collectively vote on the most persuasive argument.
  • Decoding Our Past: How has decoding the genomes of Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Homo sapiens revealed new information about our past? In this lecture, a leading evolutionary geneticist will explore the evolution of Homo sapiens on the African continent, and also in other regions, during the past 200,000 years.
  • Genomes in Hollywood: Scientific breakthroughs in genomics have been featured prominently in popular television shows and movies such as CSI, Jurassic Park and Gattaca. A genome expert will explore the difference between fact and fiction in this entertaining program. Clips from various films and TV programs will be followed by explanations of the real science behind the make-believe.
  • Mingle Genomes at the Museum: Participants will connect with genomics, drinks and music in this evening program. During this event participants will be able to build their own genome avatar and send it on adventures to track how it reacts to the environment; determine if they are a "supertaster"; learn how glowing green fluorescent protein is used to trace the spread of pathogens; identify one of their genetic traits (a widow's peak, dimples, etc.) or become an expert on fun facts about genome research.
  • Raise a Glass to Genomics and Wine: Attendees will learn about the history of viticulture through a genomics lens. A wine tasting will accompany the program.