Music of Life Short-film Selected for Raw Science Film Festival 2020

Connecting the public with genomics through the inspiring art of film

We are pleased to announce that The Music of Life: What is a Gene? film short, from a Wellcome Genome Campus Society and Ethics Research project, has been officially been selected to appear as part of the 2020 Raw Science Film Festival in Los Angeles, California.

The festival, which aims to “…humanize science and bring fact-based experts to the forefront of popular culture by celebrating the best science story” [Raw Science Festival], is the ideal platform to showcase this innovative metaphor of music, designed to bridge the gap between the science of genetics and public understanding.

Music of Life was conceived as an exploratory study examining the effectiveness of music as a new metaphor for use in clinical practice, providing a tool to enable health professionals to connect with patients, and communicate complex genomic information in a way that resonates.

The study observed the outcomes seen when genetic counsellors applied the innovative use of metaphors based around the themes of music, to breakdown the complexities of the science that sits behind genetic testing; enabling patients to better understand the impact of their diagnosis, the holistic significance to their wider family members, and to promote informed decision-making for their future.

This innovative approach to refining and developing the genetic counsellor clinical toolkit, aligns completely with the Raw Science Film Festival’s ambition to bring forward the voices of experts through creative storytelling – to better inspire science, and promote conversation and education.

Music is a language that transcends many cultures, age groups, and cognitive abilities, making it a powerful tool to remove some of the opaqueness and ambiguity that often surrounds the topic of genomic medicine.

We are very excited to learn what conversations around genetics and genomics this short film will stimulate at such a far reaching festival.

Music of Life: What is a Gene?

We are also pleased to receive a further accolade for our film efforts to engage wider audiences round the often intimidating and complex science of genomics.

The film short, Voices of Genetic Counsellors: So Much More Than Just a Test, has also been selected for the 2020 Breakthroughs: Tulane University, Public Health and Social Justice Film Festival.

This film is part of a wider series developed by members of Wellcome Genome Campus Society and Ethics Research for the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors.

So Much More Than Just a Test, draws on the stories that appear throughout the full series, highlighting the powerful expertise held by genetic counsellors; demonstrating their role and impact, as well as the value of continued research in the field of genetic counselling to evolve clinical practice.

The montage film also provide a flavour of the very poignant stories showcased throughout the series, which highlight the human and scientific complexities behind genetic testing, and the significant impact that they have had on the genetic counsellors themselves.

You can follow the full set of stories from these experts, by following our ‘Voices of Genetic Counsellors’ blog articles here.

This year, the Tulane Film Festival is focused on health and social justice, covering topics including, reproductive health and mental health. So much More Than Just a Test demonstrates how genetic counsellors use a very specific communication tool set to break down the scientific jargon, and help patients make future decisions about having children.

Voices of Genetic Counsellors: So Much More Than Just a Test

These film recognitions actively demonstrate how Society and Ethics Research is successfully transcending valuable empirical research into effective vehicles that not reach wider public audiences, but also resonate with people through creative approaches. This acknowledgement reinforces the value of finding new ways to break down the existing barriers and challenges around communicating with patients.

“We are delighted to continue exploring new and exciting ways to bring genomics to life, joining the arts with science to make meaning for people”

Professor Anna Middleton – Head of Society and Ethics Research


Over the past five years we have been delighted to share with the public so many of our innovative projects exploring the ethical, legal and social issues raised by genomics, thanks to our short film festival selections.

All our projects are explore methods for communicating genomics, and getting the public to engage and participate in conversations around genomics, to make it a more attainable subject for everyone.

These film accolades demonstrate the global reach our projects have in interpreting a complex topic to societies where genomic medicine is becoming more prevalent, and certainly part of everyday medicine.

Here is a summary of all the short film selection we have received between 2016 – 2020:

This aim of this project was to help shape and inspire everyday conversations that, whilst still rooted in the science, resonated with people. We wanted to know how to make ‘genomics’ click for people who may not know anything about it yet. Using social framings, metaphors and memes, these were turned into easily digestible films for the public to learn more about genomics.

Read more about the project here.

The ‘Your DNA, Your Say’ project is a global online survey gathering public attitudes towards genomic data sharing. The results will offer a public voice to policy.

Read more about the project here.


Read more about the project here.


Read more about the project here.

  • Voices of Genetic Counsellors: So Much More Than Just a Test was an official selection of the 2020 edition of this festival at Tulane University in New Orleans, USA

You can view all the films from all our Society and Ethics Research projects by visiting our YouTube channel.

2020 Film Festivals

The Raw Science Film Festival (RSFF) is an annual event that takes place in Los Angeles, California that brings together luminaries of science, technology, media, and entertainment to honor the best science films from around the globe. The mission of the Raw Science Film Festival is to humanize science and bring fact-based experts to the forefront of popular culture by celebrating the best science storytelling in the world. The top festival winners are awarded theatrical Oscar qualifying runs. The event was first made possible by the National Academy of Sciences and The Science and Entertainment Exchange. The festival includes a red carpet awards ceremony for winning filmmakers, the expo “Raw-Con” with exhibits, speakers, panels, and filmmaker Q+A, and the Latin American Film Market.

BreakThroughs: The Tulane Public Health and Social Justice Film Festival explores issues at the intersection of these two topics. Issues like gun violence, reproductive health and rights, racial health disparities, mental health, infectious diseases, and more. The festival will showcase differing points of view and diverse voices.

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