Community Outreach

Illinois: Genetics, Up Close and Personal

Chicago Public Radio

WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio

Web Site

Chicago Public Radio is orchestrating an ambitious companion project to The DNA Files that blends solid science reporting with focused outreach. For the outreach component, students of color in underperforming Chicago public schools who do not have access to current science materials and laboratories will make multiple visits to a university lab for sessions with individual scientists and participate in hands-on lab experiences. Links to the student lab projects and scientist question sessions will be posted online and distributed to all Chicago public high school science teachers.

In addition, five feature reports will investigate an aspect of genetic research that is being done locally in Chicago, with the goal of understanding the work’s potential impact and the associated ethical issues:

• Gender Bending Fruit Flies and the Search for Gay Genes
• Who Owns Our DNA?
• Medicine... Your Way
• Ancestry and Genetics
• Our Neighborhoods, Our Genes

Chicago Public Radio reaches an average weekly audience of nearly 600,000 listeners and is the second-most-listened-to public radio station in the country. It has consistently been one of the top 20 stations in the Chicago market for the past three years, which is quite uncommon for public radio stations. The station’s current strategic mission is to increase listenership among young people and across a wide range of ethnic communities that help make up the Chicagoland region. The station is launching a second service in 2007 with a format designed to reach out to a younger, more diverse audience, which makes its involvement with The DNA Files a natural fit.

See a video promo.