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Bobbie Farsides and Anneke Lucassen are currently leading the Wellcome Trust funded Eppigen project. Utilising a variety of methodological approaches the project will explore conceptual and practical issues raised by the proliferation of genomic medicine in health care. With the recent flurry of publicity around direct to consumer testing and it’s place within the NHS as a backdrop, their paper will discuss one of the key organising concepts they are working on – the idea of ethical preparedness.