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Your Genes, Your Choices: Exploring the Issues Raised by Genetic Research

Published: 1997

Your Genes, Your Choices describes the Human Genome Project, the science behind it, and the ethical, legal, and social issues that are raised by the project. This book was written as part of the Science + Literacy for Health project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

AAAS has a strong commitment to science literacy and the public understanding of science. Through its Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs, AAAS has been a leader in identifying and meeting the needs of underrepresented groups in science. Science + Literacy for Health fits into this vision of making science accessible to everyone.

Most people think that science is remote from the work they do, the lives they lead, and the decisions that they make day by day. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your Genes, Your Choices points out how the progress of science can potentially "invade" your life in the most direct ways, affecting the choices you make at the grocery store, your own health care and that of your family, and even your reproductive decisions. The connection between science and health is a direct one, and your ability to understand the science behind health affects your ability to understand the issues and the stakes.

Science may seem difficult, because scientists often use technical language to talk about abstract ideas. This book has been written to introduce you to important ideas, but also to convince you that you can understand the basic concepts of science and that it is important to do so.

Most people are curious about the way their bodies work (and the ways they sometimes don't work very well). This curiosity goes beyond immediate concerns about any specific health condition. We hope that Your Genes, Your Choices helps to feed that interest.

Shirley Malcom
Head
Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs

Maria Sosa
Project Director
Science + Literacy for Health

Your Genes, Your Choices is a publication of Science + Literacy for Health, a project of the AAAS Directorate for Education and Human Resources. The publication was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Hard copies of Your Genes, Your Choices are available from AAAS, 202/326-6454, Fax: /371-9849, croyster@aaas.org.

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.