Speaker Biography
"A variety of actors-including many NGOs, academics, scientists, industry groups, and governments-now view decisions about intellectual property not as rational outcomes of an autonomous process of legal reasoning, governed by precedent and safely left to appropriate experts, but as political choices with profound stakes." - Stephen Hilgartner in the Journal of Molecular Biology


Stephen Hilgartner, Ph.D., undertakes research on the social impact of genetics. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University and Chair of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI) committee of the Cornell Genomics Initiative. He is a member of the Council of the Society for Social Studies of Science and a member of the steering group of the Section on Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Hilgartner was awarded the Rachel Carson Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science for his book, Science on Stage: Expert Advice as Public Drama, published by Stanford University Press (2000). He is currently completing a book on genome mapping and sequencing in the 1990s. Hilgartner's paper, "Acceptable Intellectual Property," was featured in a recent New York Times article that highlighted his proposal to view ownership of biotechnology discoveries in the context of the legal theories of real property and a rights-based framework of ownership rather than traditional intellectual property theories. Hilgartner received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1983, his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell in 1988.

Selected Publications:

Stephen Hilgartner, "The Credibility of Science on Stage," 34 Social Studies of Science 443-452 (2004).

Stephen Hilgartner, "Making Maps and Making Social Order: Governing American Genome Centers, 1988-1993," in From Genetics to Genomics: The Mapping Cultures of Twentieth-Century Genetics 202-218 (Jean-Ual Gaudillière and Hang-Joerg Rheinberger eds., Routledge 2004).

Stephen Hilgartner, "Mapping Systems and Moral Order: Constituting Property in Genome Laboratories," in States of Knowledge: The Co-Production of Science and Social Order (Sheila Jasanoff, ed., Routledge 2004).

Eric G. Campbell, Brian R. Clarridge, Manjusha Gokhale, Lauren Birenbaum, Stephen Hilgartner, Neil A. Holtzman, David Blumenthal, "Data Withholding in Academic Genetics: Evidence From a National Survey," 287 J. of the Am. Med. Ass'n 473-480 (2002). Abstract.

Stephen Hilgartner, "Acceptable Intellectual Property," 319 J. of Molecular Biology 943-946 (2002).

Stephen Hilgartner, "Biotechnology," in 2 Int'l Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences 1235-40 (Neil J. Smelser and Paul Bates, eds., Elsevier 2002).

Stephen Hilgartner and Sherry I. Brandt-Rauf, "Controlling Data and Resources: Access Strategies in Molecular Genetics," in Information Technology and the Productivity Paradox (Paul A. David and Edward W. Steinmueller, eds., Harwood Academic Publishers 1998).

Stephen Hilgartner, "Data Access Policy in Genome Research," in Private Science: Biotechnology and the Rise of the Molecular Sciences (Arnold Thackray, ed., University of Pennsylvania Press 1998).

Stephen Hilgartner, "Access to Data and Intellectual Property: Scientific Exchange in Genome Research," in National Academy of Sciences, Intellectual Property and Research Tools in Molecular Biology: Report of a Workshop 28-39 (National Academy Press 1997).

Stephen Hilgartner, "Biomolecular Databases: New Communication Regimes for Biology?" 17 Science Comm. 240-263 (1995).

Stephen Hilgartner, "Research Fraud, Misconduct, and the IRB," 12 IRB 1-4 (1990).

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