Fédération Française de Génétique Humaine

European DNA Day 2017

ESHGThe DNA Day essay contest had a good year in 2016. We had almost 190 essays submitted from 19 countries. This number has grown from about 90 the first year. The “top three” participating countries were, Turkey, France and Italy. These 190 essays represent some 160 science classrooms.

For the 10th year, the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) will be sponsoring a DNA Day Essay contest in European high schools as part of International DNA Day activities. [Modalités en français]

This year’s theme is:

CRISPR/CAS9 is a powerful new technology to change genetic material in all living material including humans, animals and plants. Explain how this technology works. Give your opinion what problems and opportunities this technology should be used for, and what potential uses should not be allowed. Explain why you would make these choices.


Please use the essay contest as means to promote knowledge of genetics in your country and within Europe. The ESHG would also be pleased to learn about other DNA Day activities that you may be hosting in your country; you are welcome to submit these at eo@eshg.org.

On a practical basis, we suggest that you:
o Use existing contacts and “educational partners” from your country to disseminate information on the contest to schools, teachers, principals
o Send a letter to secondary schools in your country, referring them to the DNA Day website (www.dnaday.eu), which will have information on this year’s questions/contest directives early in November. Your national genetics society or other organization may also choose to create a website in your county, or provide a link to the ESHG‘s DNA Day site.
o Promote the DNA Day essay contest and other DNA Day activities through radio, television, newspapers and social networking.
o Finally we are looking for a number of judges to evaluate the submissions. Judging will be made between April 25 and May 5 and is great fun! Please let us know if you would like to contribute as a judge, your help would be greatly appreciated.

We invite you to take a look at the DNA Day website for previous questions, essays, memorable quotes and information on participating countries from contests in previous years: www.dnaday.eu. The contest is open to students ages 15-19, who should submit their essays electronically between January and April 25 (Deadline for submission of the essays). Winning essays w ill be announced via the ESHG website by end of May as well as at the annual European Society meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 30. The top three essays will be awarded monetary prizes, one for the student and a second for the class/teacher. All students who submit an essay will receive a certification of participation.

Please let us know how the ESHG can help you promote DNA Day!