Gift funds new Gene Media Forum at Syracuse University

Forum will help journalists to expand their reporting of the genetic sciences

Editor: Gene Media Forum co-directors Alan McGowan and Donald Torrance are available for interviews. McGowan can be reached at (212) 271-1958, and Torrance can be reached at (315) 443-4232 or (315) 449-9629.

SYRACUSE--Genetic research is creating a revolution in science, and the complexity of the issues involved is creating an increasing challenge for reporters, according to the co-directors of Syracuse University's new Gene Media Forum.

The Forum, created by SU's Newhouse School of Public Communications, is funded by a substantial grant from JGS, Inc., "The Joy of Giving Something," for the purpose of aiding public understanding of genetic science and its social, legal and political implications.

The Gene Media Forum will provide access to national experts on genetic science topics and develop workshops for science reporters. It plans to maintain and make available to journalists digitized files of animation, photos and videos to accompany gene research stories. Other plans include developing a website as a resource for accurate, comprehensible information about genetic research; lobbying to expand coverage of genomics in the media; and fostering University-based research into the state of public understanding of genomics and the role of the news media in that process.

The Forum's president and co-director is Alan McGowan, an expert in science communication and former president of the Scientists Institute for Public Information (SIPI). Another aim of the Gene Media Forum, says McGowan, is to make sure that issues arising from genetic research are fully debated. "We want to ensure a fully informed public to participate in decisions that must be made about this exciting science," he says.

"It is clear that genetic research, especially gene sequencing, is revolution

Contact: John Harvith
Syracuse University

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