The papers in this special issue were first given at a conference in Toronto, Canada, in April 2004 entitled ‘Genomics, Genetics, and Society: Bridging the Disciplinary Divides’. The papers fall into four intersecting themes. (1) The introduction of genetic and genomic technologies into communities. (2) Governance, the morals of scientific discourse and policy making. (3) What is a gene? (4) Public knowledge, public trust and improved dialogue between the public and scientists.

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