Professor Anna Middleton, PhD MSc RGC

Associate Director Engagement and Society

Anna is Associate Director for Engagement and Society in Wellcome Connecting Science.  She is also Professor/Affiliate Lecturer at Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

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About Professor Middleton

Explores the social and ethical impact of genomics on people. Continually asking – how is society responding to genomic technology?

Utilises both quantitative and qualitative research methods to gather empirical data on attitudes, beliefs and values about genomics.

An enthusiastic communicator who thrives on stimulating discussion, motivating others and inspiring change.

Produces outcomes that have a practical value, e.g. films that can be used in teaching and public engagement. Was subject matter expert on ethics for Health Education England’s training for all health professionals taking consent for the 100k Genomes Project. Was Genomics Ethics advisor for the Topol Review, commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health on the future of genomics, AI and robotics in the NHS.

Experienced genetic counsellor who has co-written the core curriculum for genetic counselling training in the UK. Chair of the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors in the UK and ROI (2018-2019); member of the 2019-2020 Biotechnology Council for the World Economic Forum.

My proudest achievement is being the first person to publish empirical data on the attitudes of Deaf parents towards using pre-natal testing for deafness, with the preference for having deaf children. Since my first publication on this in 1998, the ethical conundrum has been publicised widely; it has now become a familiar, almost mainstream ethical issue discussed in relation to genetic testing.

Channel 4 news coverage of the GenomEthics study:

This is a Sky news interview on the Socialising the Genome project, found at

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