Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This article aims to explore the ethical issues arising from attempts to diversify genomic data and include individuals from underserved groups in studies exploring the relationship between genomics and health. We employed a qualitative synthesis design, combining data from three sources: 1) a rapid review of empirical articles published between 2000 and 2022 with a primary or secondary focus on diversifying genomic data, or the inclusion of underserved groups and ethical issues arising from this, 2) an expert workshop and 3) a narrative review. Using these three sources we found that ethical issues are interconnected across structural factors and research practices. Structural issues include failing to engage with the politics of knowledge production, existing inequities, and their effects on how harms and benefits of genomics are distributed. Issues related to research practices include a lack of reflexivity, exploitative dynamics and the failure to prioritise meaningful co-production. Ethical issues arise from both the structure and the practice of research, which can inhibit researcher and participant opportunities to diversify data in an ethical way. Diverse data are not ethical in and of themselves, and without being attentive to the social, historical and political contexts that shape the lives of potential participants, endeavours to diversify genomic data run the risk of worsening existing inequities. Efforts to construct more representative genomic datasets need to develop ethical approaches that are situated within wider attempts to make the enterprise of genomics more equitable.

Original publication




Journal article


Camb Prism Precis Med

Publication Date





data science, ethics, genomics, personalised medicine, precision medicine