Genomics Forum

I’m preparing to head to Edinburgh for a week as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Genomics Forum. I adore Edinburgh and am chuffed to have been invited to work on a project there.

Happily, I’ll also be returning to the incredible Scottish Poetry Library for an evening event, ‘Base Pairs and Couplets,’ chaired by Genomics Forum Writer in Residence and Human Genre Project editor Ken MacLeod.

This event is open to all and takes place on 13 Jan at 17:30 at the SPL, but limited spaces require you to email genomics.forum@ed.ac.uk ahead of time.

Surgeons' Hall Museum, one of the places I hope to visit on this trip

For quite awhile I’ve been (and currently am still) stuck into projects in the History of Science, and Genomics, whilst having a fascinating history, strikes me as a much more ‘of the moment / forward-facing’ field of research and innovation. It’s also wrought with controversy, and to write about it at any level invites naive mistakes.

Whilst brainstorming possibilities for a work that would be accessible to 10 or 11-year-old readers, for example, I was discussing the metaphor of our DNA as a ‘blueprint’ for an organism. This ‘blueprint’ metaphor potentially invites the assumption of an architect–and, as one friend keenly pointed out, an easy, if unintentional, segue into intelligent design. Goodness; that’s not what I meant!

So at the moment I’m researching, reading, and trying to chat with as many experts as possible, because whatever comes of this excellent opportunity, I do not want to look back and say ‘that’s not what I meant’!

3 thoughts on “Genomics Forum

  1. Sounds like a great trip! I look forward to hearing more about it. And let’s reschedule our lunch for February (when I’m back from all my travels).

  2. I want to come too! Sounds wonderful. Ken McLeod and I have been in touch, I am supposed to be writing some genomic flash fiction. Better get onto that now that I have my short-story-writer-in-res position at the Uni sorted!

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