New York Genome Center’s Nathan Pearson on Public Outreach for Genomics

Nathan Pearson, ‎Senior Director, Scientific Engagement & Public Outreach, New York Genome Center


Listen 0:00 Long time goal to do more public outreach (4:57)

Listen 5:10 Sequencing a genome a minute (3:35)

Listen 8:32 Moving past era of TLDR (too long don't read) (6:42)

Listen 15:18 What is the most interesting genetic variant in humans? (2:49)

Listen 18:08 How savvy is the general public in genetics? (4:58)

Listen 23:07 "Diddly-squat" and "decidedly-squat" (4:43)

Listen 27:50 Moving from singulars to plurals (2:02)

Listen 29:53 Longevity a peculiar phenotype (2:29)

Nathan Pearson, formerly a genome scientist at Ingenuity and Knome, has been doing public outreach for genomics at the New York Genome Center for about a year now. In today’s interview, Nathan says he always wanted to be able to speak directly to the larger public about the great science he’s been involved in.

“Ever since graduate school, I’ve wanted to take insights from our field to the public more directly. Not just through the ivory tower--the education system that is set up to train scientists—but to help other people out there who won’t be professional scientists. They can benefit from the insights that science brings societally, and can also increasingly contribute to those insights by investing their own data on behalf of science," he says at the outset of today's show.

Nathan offers first an overview of the mission at the NY Genome Center and lists examples of their collaboration projects. Then the interview runs a bit like a review of genomic medicine as of summer 2015.

What are Nathan’s thoughts on the debate over how much of the genome is functional? What is Nathan doing to reach out to the general public? And is he concerned about the ‘hyperbolome,' or the over hyping of genomic discoveries and technologies?