Broad Institute’s Eric Lander warns we must not overpromise genomic medicine

Is the promise genomic medicine overhyped?

I think the answer is a clear yes — and a resounding no. The contradiction highlights a thorny challenge in the ongoing conversation between scientists and the public.

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To be clear: Science is the most powerful force in the world for improving human health and well-being. It consistently pays enormous returns on society’s investment, transforming the way we live and work. It’s only natural that expectations run high.

That said, the time frame for the big therapeutic payoffs is often misunderstood.

Progress requires an entire scientific community across academia and industry, with hundreds of contributors supplying both breakthroughs and steady incremental advances.

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Yet if the public overestimates the impact of science and technology in the short run, it underestimates the transformative power over the long run.

We need to convey the long-term horizon for transformative impact, while celebrating and sharing advances in research and treatment along the way. We must set ambitious goals that rally scientific energy and action, but not overpromise.

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We all need to get better at making the case for realistic optimism.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Hype vs. hope in medical research

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