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Background: A growing literature has raised—skeptically—the question of whether cutting-edge scientific research can identify and address broader ethical and policy considerations in real time. In genomics, the question is: Can ELSI contribute to genomics in real time, or will it be relegated to its historical role of after-the-fact outsider critique? We address this question against the background of a genomic screening project where we participated as embedded, real-time ELSI researchers and observers, from its initial design through its conclusion.