The acronym ELSI (pronounced Elsie) entered common use as the result of a unique research initiative conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the Human Genome Initiative (HGI), a global effort to sequence the human genome. It is now used to refer very broadly to research on the ethical, legal, and social issues that accompany scientific and technical change. ELSI research has two direct ties to communication. First, topics studied by ELSI research are often of critical importance in science communication and news coverage of science and technology. Second, ELSI programming at science funders such as NIH and the National Science Foundation (NSF) is the institutional home for a great deal of communications research.

It was widely recognized that the NIH Human Genome ...

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