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Heredity: Lay Understanding

  1. Martin PM Richards

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005873



How to Cite

Richards, M. P. 2006. Heredity: Lay Understanding. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


There is a general knowledge of inheritance among the lay public that conflicts with scientific Mendelian accounts and may impede the uptake of scientific explanations. There is a strong case for a ‘bottom-up’ approach to genetic education, which takes account of varying needs and interests in genetic knowledge as well as lay knowledge of inheritance.


  • inheritance;
  • kinship;
  • lay knowledge;
  • public understanding of science;
  • Mendelian inheritance