Shobita Parthasarathy is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Women's Studies, and Director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, at University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the governance of ethically and socially controversial science and technology, particularly in comparative perspective. She is also interested in how technological innovation, and innovation systems, can better achieve public interest and social justice goals. She is the author of numerous articles and two books: Building Genetic Medicine: Breast Cancer, Technology, and the Comparative Politics of Health Care (MIT Press, 2007) and Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2017). Her current research explores the intersection of gender, technology, and international development, with a focus on India. Findings from Building Genetic Medicine influenced the 2013 US Supreme Court decision prohibiting patents on isolated human genes. The US National Science Foundation, UK Wellcome Trust, the German Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, and various programs at the University of Michigan have funded her research. She has advised the US HHS Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society, the Austrian Genome Research Program, the American Chemical Society, the European Patent Office, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and the US Government Accountability Office, among other science and technology policymaking institutions. Shobita sits on the Board of Directors of Breast Cancer Action, a feminist health justice advocacy group. She also regularly works with scientists and engineers to more explicitly consider the ethical and social dimensions of their work. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Chicago and Masters and PhD degrees in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University.
Research Fellow/Program Manager
Caroline Walsh is a postdoctoral fellow in the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program at the Ford School. Her research interests focus on STEM education policy and how to address gender and minority disparities in STEM fields through formal and informal science education. In addition to teaching PUBPOL 481, an introduction to science, technology, and public policy course for undergraduates, Caroline functions as the STPP managing director, working to rebuild and grow the program. A former UM STPP student herself, Caroline holds an undergraduate degree from Smith College and a PhD from the University of Michigan, both in Neuroscience. Her dissertation research examined the function of microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system, during nervous system development, using the zebrafish retina as a model.