Complex scientific issues are an inherent part of modern societies and are continuously debated in the public sphere. Stem-cell research, biotechnology, and global warming-these all require regulations and, as a result, necessitate scientific as well as societal considerations. Subsequently, a basic understanding of these complex issues should be made possible for all individuals living in societies that value and respect their citizens’ views. In these democratic societies, public understanding of science is central to sound processes for policy making related to controversial scientific issues. Recognizing the importance of the ethical, legal, and social dimensions of new scientific developments, the federal government over the last 20 years has made outreach activities and public understanding of science a mandatory component of federally funded projects. The essential assumption behind these outreach projects is that greater access to information will lead to more knowledge about ethical, legal, and social issues, which in turn will lead to enhanced ability on the part of individuals and communities to deal with these issues when they encounter them. Over the same period of time, new concepts of “public understanding of science” have emerged in the theoretical realm, moving from a “deficit” or linear dissemination of popularization, to models stressing lay-knowledge, public engagement, and public participation in science policy making (Lewenstein, 2003). In the public arena, calls for “better science communication” are routinely heard. The present study turns to the Department of Energy-funded educational projects related to the Human Genome Project, specifically the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) component of that research program, to explore the ways that information about a new and emerging area of science-one that is intertwined with public issues-has been used in educational public settings to affect public understanding of science. We aim to use real-world settings to investigate if discussions taking place in the theoretical realm can be translated into practice. In other words, we will use a case-study approach as a basis to test theoretical models of science outreach in order to assess to what extent those models accord with real-world outreach activities.