Science, Technology, Medicine and Society

Scientific research and technological developments can have powerful effects on individuals' lives and society's ways of providing services. For example, new knowledge in genetics is changing the way we think about risk of illness, kinship, and the ability to intervene in biological processes to change physical characteristics. Novel techniques for visualizing interiors of the body (such as functional MRI for brain imaging) and sensing chemical changes inside the body (such as biomem sensors) affect the way we classify and characterize "normal" function and behavior. The ability to grow cells into whole tissues using tissue engineering, or to invent new surgical procedures using telemedicine will dramatically transform the way therapies are delivered and medicine is practiced. At the same time, social, political and economic environments shape the form that innovations eventually take, by restricting or promoting certain research directions and funding. Consumer or patient advocacy groups may influence activity in certain areas, or controversies may erupt over innovations that seem to disrupt long-held cultural beliefs. 

SCBE researchers study the interactions between science, technology and society, including emerging, unanticipated ethical and social concerns, the implications of changes in the way science is conducted (for example, patenting and commercialization issues) and implications of new technologies in terms of access and social justice, the way they may affect concepts of race and gender, and effects on clinical and basic research practice. 

From Transplant Medicine to Tissue Engineering: the Ethics of Using Human and Animal Materials(The Greenwall Foundation). PI: Linda Hogle, Ph.D. 

Tissue Engineering: the Morphogenesis of a New Scientific Field (National Science Foundation). PI: Linda Hogle, Ph.D. 

Web Based Research Integrity Training for Biomedical Engineers and Medical Device Researchers (Public Health Service) PI: Linda Hogle, Ph.D. Co-investigators: Sara Tobin, Ph.D., David Gaba, and Paul Yock.