The debut issue of Genome has been in the works for more than a year. As with all startups, it has undergone many changes during its gestation, from name changes (I lost that battle, rightly) to mission revisions.
One thing that never changed was the audience we wanted to reach: patients who deal in some way with chronic illness, as well as their caregivers (family, friends, and healthcare professionals). It’s the reason I was hired to be editorial director: My background is in consumer magazines, not science or medical writing. Our publisher, Susan McClure, knew from day one that after 10 years of professional debate about the clinical utility of personalized and genomic medicine, the time was right to engage healthcare consumers. To do so, she wanted us to explain complicated science to folks in a way that helped them understand the genomic revolution taking place in healthcare, so they could be an active voice in that discussion.
It has been a challenge. Turns out that explaining wonkish public policy debates to lay readers is much easier than writing a story about the microbiome — especially making sure it’s easily understandable without dumbing down the science. Luckily, we have a great lineup of writers and experts (our editor-in-chief, our editor-at-large, our advisory board members, etc.) who helped us in our mission. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with our first issue and this website, as well as what future issues hold in store.
This blog will take shape over the next few months as we figure out what sort of stories we should share, both our own and those generating discussion in social networks and on the web. We look forward to adding our voice to those debates and bringing you along as well.