Can molecular genetics be useful for education research and policy?

Research at the intersection of social science and genomics, “sociogenomics”, is transforming our understanding of the interplay between genomics, individual outcomes and society. It has interesting and maybe unexpected implications for education research and policy. Here we review the growing sociogenomics literature and discuss its implications for educational researchers and policy makers. We cover key concepts and methods in genomic research into educational outcomes, how genomic data can be used to investigate social or environmental effects, the methodological strengths and limitations of genomic data relative to other observational social data, the role of intergenerational transmission, and potential policy implications. The increasing availability of genomic data in studies can produce a wealth of new evidence for education research. This may provide opportunities for disentangling the environmental and genomic factors that influence educational outcomes and identifying potential mechanisms for intervention.