Shifting Boundaries of Science and Law
If a researcher makes a billion dollars selling cells from a person's spleen, does that person deserve a cut? Should a scientist be allowed to patent an oil-slick-eating microorganism? Who counts as an "expert witness?" According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the answers are "no," "yes," and "it depends"; and each of these decisions has brought the domains of science and law together in complex and often conflicting ways. This course explores the interaction of science and law in the context of 20th- and 21st-century U.S. society, drawing on a number of legal decisions and policy issues.
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