Genetics is relevant to many aspects of our lives. According to the deficit model of public understanding, any misgivings people have about genetics and its applications stem from a lack of understanding of basic scientific principles. Consequently, education in genetics should lead to improved literacy and therefore support for this area. However, a number of studies show that education campaigns do not automatically lead to increased public support. Instead, it has been argued that understanding is a complex and dynamic process whereby people make sense of information in many different ways, which depend on prior knowledge and on their social and cultural locations. Therefore, members of the public should not be seen as deficient in understanding. Rather, it is argued that they have sophisticated understandings which should be acknowledged, and processes of engagement between science and public are put forward.