Prof. Carter Snead Speaks at Symposium on Law and Science

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carter snead faculty Notre Dame Law School professor Carter Snead joins five other law faculty from Harvard, UCLA and Wisconsin at the University of Alabama for an April 11 symposium titled “Legal Doubt, Scientific Certainty: What Scientific Knowledge Does For and To the Law.” Snead’s talk is called “Law, Science, and Incommensurability.”

According to the Alabama School of Law website, this symposium “will chart the complex ways in which law consumes, uses and is influenced by scientific information…[and] will examine the ways in which science is introduced into legal disputes or policy debates.”

Snead’s research focuses on the intersection of law and bioethics. His scholarship explores the possibility, mechanisms, and wisdom of the governance of science, medicine, and biotechnology according to ethical principles.

Snead was recently appointed to a four-year term by the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to be one of the 36 independent experts that compose UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee, the only body in the United Nations System charged with reflecting on bioethics and public policy.

In 2002 Snead accepted the position of general counsel for the President’s Council on Bioethics. In that capacity, he advised the chairman and council members on the legal and public policy dimensions of numerous ethical questions arising from advances in biomedical science and biotechnology. He was the principal drafter of the council’s 2004 report, “Reproduction and Responsibility: The Regulation of New Biotechnologies,” a comprehensive critical assessment of the governance (both public and private) of the activities at the intersection of assisted reproduction, human embryo research, and genetics. Snead continues to serve the council as an expert consultant. From 2004-2005, he served as the chief negotiator and head of the United States delegation to UNESCO for the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (adopted in October 2005).

In 2007, Snead was appointed (along with Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, Chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics) to be the Permanent Observer for the U.S. Government at the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI). In that capacity, he assists the CDBI in its efforts to elaborate international instruments and standards for the ethical governance of science and medicine.

Contact: Prof. Carter Snead, 202-607-0963(cell); 574-631-8259 (office);

For more information on Professor Snead, visit his faculty profile page.