Gene Editing in Discourse (Genomchirurgie im Diskurs)


Gene Editing in Discourse (Genomchirurgie im Diskurs) is a project that stimulates discussions about new gene technologies among schools and the public.

Gene Editing in Discourse (Genomchirurgie im Diskurs) is a project that aims at promoting discussions about genome editing and its medical applications. Among these efforts is a discussion game for schools about gene drives meant to genetically modify mosquitoes that has been developed as part of this project and is available for download free of charge, along with relevant teaching materials. Another outcome of this project is public discussion evenings, organised in several cities across Germany.

The project is a cooperation between Wissenschaft im Dialog GmbH and the Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften, Leopoldina. The project has received funding from the German Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMBF) for the period 2017-19.

Basic information

Country: Germany

Coordinator: Wissenschaft im Dialog gGmbH, Germany

Programme: National

Project Acronym:

Target groups: general public, secondary school students, teachers

Topic: Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine, Biotechnology, Ecology, Environmental sciences, Genetics

Start year: 2017

End year: 2019


Contact person: Arwen Cross, Email arwen.cross (at)

Several papers have been produced arising from the involvement of researchers in the field of social sciences in this project. These researchers investigated how the project’s discussion activities about gene editing affected the participants who were involved in them.

As part of this project, materials for the ninety-minute role-playing discussion game “Planspiel” were developed. Teachers can access those materials free of charge online and use them in their own classrooms.They are suitable for students from tenth grade who are attending classes in biology, ethics or social sciences.

The discussion topic of the game is gene drives that may genetically modify mosquitoes as a mechanism for fighting malaria. The students learn about the necessary technology before discussing it from the point of view of different stakeholders. This facilitates a discussion about the scientific and ethical aspects of the new technology from various perspectives. The materials include instructions for the game, PowerPoint presentations, a video and printable files for playing cards and work sheets.


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