In 2013, the Education Committee of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) established the DNA Day Essay Contest in Australia and New Zealand. The contest was first established by the American Society of Human Genetics in 2005 and the HGSA DNA Day Essay Contest is adapted from this contest via a collaborative partnership. The aim of the contest is to engage high school students with important concepts in genetics through literature research and reflection. As 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the double helix of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick and the 10th anniversary of the first sequencing of the human genome, the essay topic was to choose either of these breakthroughs and explain its broader impact on biotechnology, human health and disease, or our understanding of basic genetics, such as genetic variation or gene expression. The contest attracted 87 entrants in 2013, with the winning essay authored by Patrick Yates, a Year 12 student from Melbourne High School. Further details about the contest including the names and schools of the other finalists can be found at . The Education Committee would like to thank all the 2013 applicants and encourage students to enter in 2014.Joanne M. Lind, BSc, PhDChair, HGSA Education Committee
The European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG), would like you to join us again in celebrating DNA day in Europe. In 2008 it accepted the American Society of Human Genetics’ (ASHG) invitation to sponsor a DNA Day Essay contest in European secondary schools, as the ASHG had done very successfully in the US the previous two years. The essay contest is one of several activities held to promote knowledge and understanding of genetics among teachers and their students.
The contest intends to challenge students to examine, question and reflect on the importance and social implications of genetic research and its applications. Essays are expected to contain substantive, well-reasoned arguments indicative of a depth of understanding of the issues addressed by the selected essay question.
The Annual European DNA Day Essay Contest is being held by the European Society for Human Genetics (ESHG) for the third year running in 2010. Winners and runners-up will receive a cash prize of up to 300 Euros, and their teachers will be rewarded with up to 1000 Euros to spend on a science project or buying classroom equipment.
About the DNA Day Essay Contest
Book Reviewer: What is Life? By Jay Phelan. W.H. Freeman Publishers, 2010
The American Society of Human Genetics Annual DNA Day Essay Contest Judge, 2008 and 2009
National Science Foundation Grant Reviewer, 2009