YouTest – Young People and Genetic Testing

Young people performing technological impact assessments: direct-to-consumer genetic testing as an example

New technologies and their application – this is also true for genetic research – often trigger uncertainties within societies and need broad public reflection and a discourse taking place.

Using the example of direct to consumer (dtc) genetic testing, the project YouTest examines in which way a knowledge based and systematic dialogue about science, new technologies and their applications can be promoted between different actors in society. Dtc genetic tests are genetic analysis directly marketed to consumers without a physician’s referral.

During this project, students will carry out a systematic technology assessment study by applying proper research methods and they will be accompanied by natural and social scientists. Following the idea of active citizenship, they will be discussing and developing an informed position regarding the impact of dtc genetic testing on society and think about regulations which might be necessary.

In this joint research project, young people and an interdisciplinary project team will carry out a web based media search, applying qualitative empirical research methods. By that, they will carry out a participative technology assessment on dtc genetic testing and analyse the different roles of actors in science, politics, public administration, economy and civil society during dtc development, regulation and application.

This project has been completed.