Core faculty

Shobita Parthasarathy

Professor of Public Policy; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy program; Professor of Women's and Gender Studies (by courtesy)

Shobita Parthasarathy is a professor of public policy and director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program. 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 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), which influenced the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the patentability of human genes; and Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2017) which won the Robert K. Merton Prize from the American Sociological Association. Her new research focuses on equity in innovation policy on the politics of inclusive innovation in international development, with a focus on India. Parthasarathy also directs the Technology Assessment Project, which recently published a report on the implications of large language models, a type of artificial intelligence. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and master's and PhD from Cornell University.

Learn more on Parthasarathy's personal website. 

Educational background

  • PhD in science and technology studies, Cornell University (minor: government)
  • MA in science and technology studies, Cornell University
  • AB in biology, University of Chicago (also fulfilled degree requirements in public policy)

Professional affiliations

  • Non-resident fellow, Center for Democracy and Technology
  • Member, Committee on Science for Judges, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Member, Study Committee on Creating a Framework for Emerging Science, Technology, and Innovation in Health and Medicine
  • Technology Advisory Board, Sloan Foundation
  • Society for the Social Studies of Science
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Science and Democracy Network
  • American Sociological Association
  • Advisor, Global Vaccine Equity Ideas Lab (U-M Center for Global Health Equity)

Recent publications

  • Shobita Parthasarathy (2022). "How to Be an Epistemic Trespasser." Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences. 52(1): 140-142.
  • Johanna Okerland, Evan Klasky, Aditya Middha, Sujin Kim, Hannah Rosenfeld, Molly Kleinman, and Shobita Parthasarathy, "What's in the Chatterbox? Large Language Models, Why They Matter, and What We Should Do About Them." Technology Assessment Project, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, University of Michigan (2022).
  • Shobita Parthasarathy (2022). "Innovation as a Force for Equity." Issues in Science and Technology. 38 (2): 30-36. 
  • Shobita Parthasarathy (2021). "Health Innovation Policy for the People," Democracy Collaborative.…;
  • Zixuan Wang, Margarita Maria Rodriguez Morales, Kseniya Husak, Molly Kleinman, and Shobita Parthasarathy. "In Communities we Trust: Institutional Failures and Sustained Solutions for Vaccine Hesitancy." Technology Assessment Project, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, University of Michigan (2021).
  • Shobita Parthasarathy, "The AstraZeneca Vaccine Crisis in Europe Isn't About Science At All." Slate, March 17, 2021 [Reprinted in The Wire, an online newsmagazine in India.]
  • Shobita Parthasarathy, "Ensuring Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines," Issue Memos for an Incoming Administration, Ford School of Public Policy, January 21, 2021.
  • Shobita Parthasarathy and Dan Sarewitz, "Public Thinker: Shobita Parthasarathy on Why We Need to Diversify Expertise." Public Books, January 4, 2021.
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