We sketch the development of UK genetics and genomics research, and emphasize the UK's key role in the international genetics and genomics research community. We highlight in particular the part played by the UK's Research Councils and other funders. With the move from genomics to post-genomics research, the field is diversifying, and interdisciplinarity becomes increasingly important, as traditional disciplinary boundaries become blurred, or break down, in the face of newly emerging sciences. We consider the changing nature of health and ill health in the developed and developing world, and questions about the complex nature of the relationships between genes and the environment, and their future implications for human health and human populations. We describe the ESRCs activities, stressing the importance of both the social, ethical and legal issues raised by these emerging disciplines, and of public engagement. Finally, we link the data handling and analysis issues raised by these emerging sciences, with other new research areas, in particular the UK's e-Science programme.