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Shobita Parthasarathy

Shobita Parthasarathy

Associate Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Phone: (734) 764-8075
Office: Weill Hall
735 S. State St. #4202
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091
E-mail: shobita@umich.edu

Go to Shobita Parthasarathy’s Home Page

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Competition & Regulation
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Politics, Institutions & Processes: International
  • Politics, Institutions & Processes: National
  • Science and Technology

Educational Background:

A.B. Biology, University of Chicago (also fulfilled degree requirements in Public Policy); M.A. Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University; Ph.D. Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University (minor: Government)

Recent Publications:

Shobita Parthasarathy (2010). "Breaking the Expertise Barrier: Understanding Activist Challenges to Science and Technology Policy Domains." Science and Public Policy. Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 355-367.

Shobita Parthasarathy (2010). "The Implications of Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing for the Public's Health: Taking Sociotechnical Architectures Seriously." Genetics in Medicine. Vol. 12, No. 9.

"Building Genetic Medicine: Breast Cancer, Technology, and the Comparative Politics of Health Care."

Shobita Parthasarathy. (2005) "Architectures of Genetic Medicine: Comparing Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer in the USA and UK." Social Studies of Science. (Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 5-40).

Shobita Parthasarathy. (2004) "Regulating Risk: Defining Genetic Privacy in the US and Britain." Science, Technology, and Human Values. (Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 332-352).


Shobita Parthasarathy is Associate Professor of Public Policy. She does research on governance of transformative science and technology, both in the United States and abroad. Current areas of interest include: comparative and international politics of genetics and biotechnology; the politics of the patent system; regulation of genetic medicine; the governance of geoengineering; and the relationship between science and democracy. She recently published her first book, entitled Building Genetic Medicine: Breast Cancer, Technology, and the Comparative Politics of Health Care (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007), which compares the development of genetic testing for breast cancer in the United States and Britain. Her current research focuses on the politics of patenting biotechnology in the US and Europe, exploring, in comparative perspective, how democratic objectives are interpreted by technical institutions. Primary funding for this project comes from a Scholar's Award from the Science, Technology, and Society Program of the National Science Foundation.

At Michigan, Shobita teaches courses in genetics and biotechnology policy, science and technology policy analysis, and political strategy. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and Ph.D. from Cornell University and has held postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Cambridge. She has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.; the American Council of Learned Societies, the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition, and Tax Law; the Wellcome Trust; and the National Science Foundation. During the 2011-2012 academic year, she is on sabbatical leave at the American Bar Foundation and the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy.

Go to the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Programís Home Page


Society for the Social Studies of Science
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Political Science Association
American Sociological Association