In December, Keith Findley presented "Guilt in the Age of Innocence," part of the Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshop Series focusing on "guilt." The series is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Center for the Humanities.
Alta Charo was a member of an Institute of Medicine committee that just released "Oversight and Review of Clinical Gene Transfer Protocols," a report outlining recommendations for improvements in oversight of gene therapy research, focusing on the balance between safety and innovation. The report also suggests consideration of oversight mechanisms across a host of other emerging technologies.
Alexandra Huneeus presented her paper, "The Role of the International Judge in Public Law Litigation," at the American Society of International Law Human Rights Workshop at Berkeley Law School in November.
Wisconsin faculty members share a commitment to excellence in research, embracing a wide variety of substantive concerns and methodological approaches. The faculty has long been known for its interest in interdisciplinary work and for its commitment to a law-in-action approach to scholarship.
For Wisconsin scholars, no matter how interesting or elegant the underlying theory, Wisconsin's law-in-action approach challenges them to answer the question: "Why should this matter to people in the real world?" In contrast to legal scholars whose work is theory-based, Wisconsin scholars tend to begin with an observed, real-world problem or phenomenon and then seek to explain it and to put it into a larger theoretical context.
Much of the research undertaken at Wisconsin is devoted to explaining how law and legal institutions work and often to understanding why law and legal institutions might not be working as intended. The Wisconsin faculty contextualizes law, studying it as one of many social processes that may shape behavior. Many faculty members are active in the Law & Society Association, an international organization of scholars who study the interrelation of society and the legal process; indeed, the current Wisconsin faculty includes three LSA past presidents.
The work of the Wisconsin faculty is not geographically bounded. Though a majority study U.S. law, a growing number explore law in less familiar settings and are focusing their research on the workings of law in countries throughout the world.