Animal genetics open to debate at events this summer

Published: 24 May 2019

The Roslin Institute is taking science on the road to discuss the potential of animal genetics and celebrate 100 years of animal genetics in Edinburgh.

The Roslin Institute was established in 1993, however, its antecedents go back to 1919 and the establishment of the first University of Edinburgh Chair of Animal Genetics.

The Institute will be celebrating 100 years of animal genetics in Edinburgh by showcasing its current research in animal genetics with a programme of public and scientific events across Scotland and the north of England. Specifically we aim to use this anniversary to promote conversation and debate about the use of new genetic technologies in animal breeding to improve health and welfare.

In 1919 the Animal Breeding Research Department was established at the University of Edinburgh and was later renamed the Institute of Animal Genetics, eventually leading to a cluster of new genetics research and institutions in Edinburgh after the Second World War, including the predecessors of the current Roslin Institute.

Current animal genetics research at The Roslin Institute aims to improve animal health and welfare using new genetic technologies to improve existing selective breeding practices.

Future implementation of genetic engineering technologies, alongside genetic research, means we now stand on the cusp of a new era of animal breeding, which could bring significant and rapid change in the way livestock are produced in the UK and worldwide.

It is crucial that both the agricultural sector and the public are informed about current research and that their thoughts, including any concerns, are heard. A part of the Institute’s Animal Genetics Centenary Outreach Programme will be a survey to allow members of the public to share their opinions, hopes and fears about animal genetics.

This survey extends efforts to understand public opinion about genetics research, following a recent survey by Roslin scientists to gauge public opinion on gene-edited meat.

New genetic technologies offer exciting potential to improve the health and welfare of farmed animals, but before these can be implemented on the farm it is vital that we engage with the public. Our outreach programme aims to both inform and listen to public audiences, and we are looking forward to speaking to farmers and members of rural communities at events across Scotland and northern England.

Dr Nicola Stock, Public Engagement Officer, The Roslin Institute

This summer we are bringing Roslin Institute scientists and engaging, accessible activities about animal genetics to events across Scotland and northern England. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about animal genetics whilst having fun and asking questions directly to our scientists.

Dr Claudia Antolini, Public Engagement Assistant, The Roslin Institute


Source: The Roslin Institute



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