I see engagement with the world beyond my academic colleagues and my students as an important part of my job. I try to contribute to policy discussions related to my research in a variety of ways, including providing expert consultation, regularly writing op-eds, and responding favorably to media requests for interviews. Most notably, I submitted an expert declaration (on behalf of the plaintiff) in the AMP v. Myriad case, on the basis of my first book. This declaration was heavily cited by the District Court, and my research also informed a number of the amicus briefs filed in the Supreme Court case. I also advised the ACLU, which served as the plaintiffs’ primary lawyer, as they developed the case.
Until recently I sat on the Board of Directors of Breast Cancer Action, a women’s health justice advocacy group. In the past, I have advised the US Government Accountability Office, European Patent Office, Dutch Medical Biotechnology Commission, Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society (US Department of Health and Human Services), Austrian Genome Research Programme, Policy Committee of the University of Michigan's Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies, and individual members of the US Congress.
It is also important for me to work with the innovation community, from academic scientists to industrial entrepreneurs, to help them anticipate the ethical, social, environmental, health, and economic consequences of their work and to develop strategies to build science and technology that will maximize public benefits and produce public legitimacy. I do this in a variety of ways. I teach students from the sciences and engineering (at both the undergraduate and graduate level) about the intersection of their work with the social and policy worlds. I give lectures to the innovation community on these issues. And I provide informal consultation and participate in multi-disciplinary research projects focused on responsible innovation. With colleagues in public health, I have investigated the governance challenges posed by “disruptive” technologies. And with colleagues in Engineering and Urban Planning, I have examined the social consequences of developing autonomous vehicles.