Shobita Parthasarathy
Assistant Professor of Public Policy
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor
United States
(734) 764-8075

I am Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Co-Director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at University of Michigan. I do research and teach in the area of science and technology policy. Overall, my research explores the politics of science and technology in comparative perspective, with a focus on genetics and biotechnology. I am particularly interested in the relationship between science, technology, and democracy. I recently published my first book, entitled Building Genetic Medicine: Breast Cancer, Technology, and the Comparative Politics of Health Care (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007). It compares the development of genetic testing for breast cancer in the United States and Britain, and demonstrates how different national contexts, in terms of their social and political environments and health care systems, shape understandings of science and the development of technology in important ways. My current research focuses on the politics of patenting biotechnology in the US and Europe. I explore, in comparative perspective, civil society challenges to the policies and practices of patent offices, and the responses of patent offices to these challenges. Overall, the project explores how technical institutions interpret their roles in democratic societies, and how these roles are being challenged by advocacy groups across the world. Primary funding for this project comes from a Scholar's Award from the Science, Technology, and Society Program of the National Science Foundation. At University of Michigan, I also co-direct a university-wide program in science, technology, and public policy, and teach courses in genetics and biotechnology policy, science and technology policy analysis, and political strategy. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago (Biology) and M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University (Science and Technology Studies) and have worked at the White House Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, the National Academy of Sciences, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and RAND's Critical Technologies Institute. I have held postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Cambridge. During the 2007-2008 academic year, I was awarded fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition, and Tax Law (Munich).

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