Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2012

Publication Citation

19 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 507 (2012)


In the six decades since the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in 1953, developments in genetic science have transformed our understanding of human health and disease. These developments, along with those in other areas such as computer science, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, have opened exciting new possibilities for the future. In addition, the increasing trend for technologies to converge and build upon each other potentially increases the pace of change, constantly expanding the boundaries of the scientific frontier. At the same time, however, scientific advances are often accompanied by public unease over the potential for unforeseen, negative outcomes. For governments, these issues present significant challenges for effective regulation. This Article analyzes the challenges associated with crafting laws for rapidly changing science and technology. It considers whether we need to regulate, how best to regulate for converging technologies, and how best to ensure the continued relevance of laws in the face of change.

The George P. Smith II Lecture November 10, 2011, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana.

Streaming Media


A DVD copy of this lecture is available in the Law Library.