Crossing over silos in genomics research

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Karine Morin, Director, National GE3LS Program, Genome Canada

Silos, to many delegates who will attend Congress 2014, refer to insular thinking. To a few, they may evoke Canada’s agricultural tradition. It would seem unlikely that an exploration of the figurative term as well the literal one could happen at once during a session of Congress, but under the theme Borders without Boundaries, such an opportunity may not be so farfetched. In fact, considering how few life scientists will be traveling to Brock University to discuss advances in genomics, it may well seem more implausible that Genome Canada would participate in this year’s event. Yet those curious to learn how genomic research and innovation and the social sciences and humanities intersect should stop by our booth or attend one or both sessions sponsored by Genome Canada.

On Tuesday, May 27, as part of Career Corner, Genome Canada will present its “GE3LS” research program, which focuses on genomics and its ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social aspects.  Listing all relevant disciplines would have resulted in an even more unwieldy acronym, but all those with an interest in life sciences, emerging technologies or sectors that range from health to agriculture and natural resources may want to learn more about our funding and application process.

The next morning, as part of its GPS series, “Where Genomics, Public Policy, and Society Meet,” and in time for the launch of a new competition on “Feeding the Future,” we will facilitate an exchange between academics, policy-makers, and other stakeholders through the presentation of a draft policy brief titled “Can Scientists, Regulators, and Activists Agree?” Add your input to those of commentators and help mobilize knowledge into policy options.

Just as we encourage researchers to be concerned with grains stored in silos across the Prairies, we value those who step across disciplinary silos or extend their reach to a diversity of stakeholders, and hope to meet as many of you as will be attending Congress 2014.

For additional information about Genome Canada’s events at Congress 2014, please contact Karine Morin at


Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2014