Core faculty

Shobita Parthasarathy

Professor of Public Policy, Director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy program.

Shobita Parthasarathy is a professor of public policy. Her research focuses on the comparative and international politics and policy related to science and technology. She is interested in how to develop innovation, and innovation policy, to better achieve public interest and social justice goals. Much of her previous work has focused on the governance of emerging science and technology, particularly those that have uncertain environmental, social, ethical, political, and health implications. She is the author of multiple articles and two books: Building Genetic Medicine: Breast Cancer, Technology, and the Comparative Politics of Health Care (MIT Press 2007; paperback 2012); and Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2017). Parthasarathy has participated in innovation policy discussions in both the U.S. and Europe; most notably, her work influenced the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the patentability of human genes. Her new research project focuses on the political machineries that shape the development and decision-making related to technologies for the poor, with a focus on India. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and master's and PhD from Cornell University.

Educational Background

A.B. Biology, University of Chicago (also fulfilled degree requirements in Public Policy); M.A. Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University; Ph.D. Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University (minor: Government)

Professional Affiliations

Society for the Social Studies of Science
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Science and Democracy Network
American Sociological Association

Recent Publications

Shobita Parthasarathy (forthcoming). Patently Political: Life, Markets, and Morality in the United States and Europe. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Shobita Parthasarathy (2015). "Co-Producing Knowledge and Political Legitimacy: Comparing the Life Form Patent Controversies in Europe and the United States." In Stephen Hilgartner, Clark Miller, and Rob Hagendijk, eds., Science and Democracy: Emerging Trends. Routledge.

Shobita Parthasarathy (2014). "Producing the Consumer of Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer: The Double-Edged Sword of Empowerment." In Kelly Moore and Daniel Kleinman, eds. Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society. Routledge.

Shobita Parthasarathy (2014). "Observing the Patent System in Social and Political Perspective: A Case Study of Europe" (with Alexis Walker) In Margo Bagley and Ruth Okediji, eds., Global Perspectives on Patent Law, New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Shobita Parthasarathy (2011). "Whose Knowledge? Whose Values? The Comparative Politics of Patenting Life Forms in the United States and Europe." Policy Sciences (Vol 44, No. 3, p. 267-288).

Shobita Parthasarathy (2010). "Breaking the Expertise Barrier: Understanding Activist Challenges to Science and Technology Policy Domains." Science and Public Policy. Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 355-367.

Shobita Parthasarathy (2010). "The Implications of Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing for the Public's Health: Taking Sociotechnical Architectures Seriously." Genetics in Medicine. Vol. 12, No. 9.

Shobita Parthasarathy (2007). Building Genetic Medicine: Breast Cancer, Technology, and the Comparative Politics of Health Care. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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