Placing the role of Genetic Counsellors in the Spotlight
We are proud to share that So Much More Than Just a Test, the introductory film from the Wellcome Genome Campus Society and Ethics Research Voices of Genetic Counsellors short documentary series, appeared as part of the 2020 Imagine Science Film Festival – delivered online via Labocine, New York, USA.
The festival, which aims to communicate science to diverse audiences, provided an ideal and timely platform to raise the profile of the genetic counselling profession, and demonstrate its importance in the effective integration of genomics into clinical healthcare practice.
The Voices of Genetic Counsellors film series was developed by Wellcome Genome Campus Society and Ethics Research in collaboration with the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (AGNC), to explore and convey the work of Genetic Counsellors, highlighting the skills necessary to empower people to make crucial decisions about genetic information that are right for them. The films themselves have also proven to be a powerful tool for the healthcare profession to draw knowledge about the role and impact of genetic counselling, and the value of research in order to evolve practice.
The series also highlights the critical importance of the involvement of genetic counsellors in healthcare; explaining how the profession combines medical genetics and psychosocial counselling to effectively guide on reproductive health, long-term medical management, and the ability to communicate with wider family members
The So Much More Than Just a Test introductory film, draws on the narrative of the whole series, providing a flavour of the very poignant stories showcased throughout all the films. It bravely highlights the human and scientific complexities behind genetic testing, and the significant impact that they have had on the genetic counsellors themselves.
This powerful and poignant film aligned completely with the 13th Imagine Science Film Festival’s core narrative on “Migration”.
“Though this subject is the special focus of this year’s festival, we’ll be featuring films, installations, and online works of any and all other genres, methodologies, and subjects, as always that push the boundaries of the science narrative – embracing the movement of the Science New Wave.”Imagine Film Festival
We are living in a world where genomics is making the rapid shift “migrating” from specialist genetics into the mainstream of the NHS; more crucially, meaning into people’s everyday lives.
As one of the most experienced professions at dealing with the interpretation of clinical genomics, and the uncertainties that exist around inherited disease risks, Genetic Counsellors have a vitally important role in integrating and evolving genomics into clinical healthcare practice. But there is still a lack of understanding around the genetic counselling profession, and how it can support people with the potential ethical, psychological and social implications generated by the increasing amounts of genomic data delivered across the health service.
The festival craves innovative film projects that have an ability to reach broad audiences by being experimental and expressive; capturing the attention of the curious and open-minded. By showcasing the very personal stories of each of the genetic counsellors, the film introduces this profession to those who may not already be familiar in a raw and provoking way that aims to give real life meaning for people.
In a world where genetic testing is becoming far more widespread, it’s vital that we take advantage of these opportunities to bring genomics to life through the powerful combination of art and science.
The festival took place on October 16 with an ambitious schedule including 28 programs with over 80 films, with 30 countries represented.
VOICES OF GENETIC COUNSELLORS: SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A TEST
You can view all the films from all our Society and Ethics Research projects by visiting our YouTube channel.
You can follow the full set of stories from these experts, by following our ‘Voices of Genetic Counsellors’ blog articles here.