IDS.435J / 15.655J / IDS.S01
Law, Technology, and Public Policy

Prerequisites: 
Permission of instructor required for freshmen and sophomores.

Examines the relationship between law and technological change, and the ways in which law, economics, and technological change shape public policy. Addresses how law can be used to influence and guide technological change; how the legal system responds to environmental, safety, energy, social, and ethical problems created by new or existing technology; how law and markets interact to limit or encourage technological development; and how law can affect wealth distribution, employment, and social justice. In addition to basic legal priciplesand mechanisms, the course covers energy and climate change; genetic engineering; telecommunications and the role of misinformation; industrial automation; the effect of health, safety, and environmental regulation on technological innovation; the impacts of intellectual property law on innovation and equity; pharmaceuticals; nanotechnology; cost/benefit analysis as a decision tool; public participation in governmental decisions affecting science and technology; corporate influence on technology and welfare; and law and economics as competing paradigms to encourage sustainability. Permission of instructor required for freshmen and sophomores.