Journal article

The Rise and Fall of BritainsDNA: A Tale of Misleading Claims, Media Manipulation and Threats to Academic Freedom

Debbie A Kennett, Adrian Timpson, David J Balding, Mark G Thomas

GENEALOGY | MDPI | Published : 2018


Direct-to-consumer genetic ancestry testing is a new and growing industry that has gained widespread media coverage and public interest. Its scientific base is in the fields of population and evolutionary genetics and it has benefitted considerably from recent advances in rapid and cost-effective DNA typing technologies. There is a considerable body of scientific literature on the use of genetic data to make inferences about human population history, although publications on inferring the ancestry of specific individuals are rarer. Population geneticists have questioned the scientific validity of some population history inference approaches, particularly those of a more interpretative nature..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Catherine Nash for encouraging us to write this article and for her guidance. We thank the team at Sense About Science for their support and advice. DJB and MGT are very grateful to the then UCL Provost Professor Malcolm Grant for his prompt actions and continued support. DJB and MGT thank their many academic colleagues who supported them in private and through comments on blogs. We thank the three anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions.