Speaker Biography
"The intent of the patent system is, as Abraham Lincoln once put it, to add the fuel of interest to the fire of genius by granting inventors financial rewards. In the knowledge-based economy, however, the researchers who obtain the patent on a biological process are frequently not the ones who do the work to bring a product to market." - Seth Shulman in Technology Review


Seth Shulman, M.A., is an award winning journalist and author who specializes in issues of science, technology, and the environment. In 1985, he was a Knight Science Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in 2004, he became MIT's first Dibner Science Writer Fellow. Shulman's Owning the Future, published by Houghton Mifflin Company (1999), raises a sobering alarm about the trend to privatize information and knowledge through the expansion of patents, copyrights and trademarks and asks what this trend will ultimately mean for the future of our democratic society.

Shulman's latest book, Undermining Science: Suppression and Distortion in the Bush Administration, published by University of California Press (2007), is an exposť of the Bush administration's portrayal of scientific research that affect public health, foreign policy, and the environment. Shulman's work has also appeared in journals including Nature and Discover; and in periodicals including Smithsonian, Technology Review, Rolling Stone, the Atlantic Monthly, the Times of London, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times.

Selected Publications:

Seth Shulman, Trouble on "the Endless Frontier": Science, Invention and the Erosion of the Technological Commons (Public Knowledge, 2002).

Seth Shulman, Owning the Future (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999).

Seth Shulman, The Threat at Home: Confronting the Toxic Legacy of the U.S. Military (Beacon Press, 1992).

Seth Shulman, Biohazard (University Press of America, 1991).

Seth Shulman, "Full of (Soy) Beans," Technology Review (Sept. 2003).

Seth Shulman, "Big Ivory Takes License," Technology Review (April 2003).

Seth Shulman, "Thinking Like a Virus," Technology Review (Jul./Aug. 2003).

Seth Shulman, "A Dose of Common Sense," Technology Review (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2003).

Seth Shulman, "Cashing in on Medical Knowledge," Technology Review (Mar. 7, 2002).

Seth Shulman, "Toward Sharing the Genome," Technology Review (Sept./Oct. 2002).

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