This is usually the happiest and proudest time of the year at our law school as faculty, staff and fellow students congratulate our graduating students. This is the culmination of three long years of hard work, endless study, challenges met and overcome, professional and personal growth, and hopefully many cherished memories by our graduating class. We look forward to celebrating their achievement and bright future at our annual law school commencement ceremony, and in a reception we hold for our Center Scholars, Law, Science & Technology certificate recipients, and graduating Jurimetrics editors. But of course this year is different. Because of the COVID19 pandemic, we cannot hold these in-person events to honor and applaud our graduating students.
But these practical obstacles do not change our deeply felt pride and delight we feel for our graduating students’ achievements, and hopefully does not diminish those students’ appreciation of their own accomplishments and this important milestone in their professional career. To celebrate these graduating students’ accomplishment, we will be running a series of blog posts highlighting some of our outstanding Center graduating students.
But let me kick off this celebration of the Class of 2020 by extending my personal
congratulations to all the graduates – it has truly been a joy and honor to work with so many of you both in the classroom and in our various Center research projects and events. This is a time of extraordinary change and growth in how technology affects law, and how law is challenged to manage technology. Take the current COVD19 situation, for example, which involves many of the issues we work on. Our annual April workshop on regulation and reimbursement of diagnostics, which this year has been
postponed to December and extended to two days, will address the regulatory issues relating to coronavirus testing. Our ongoing work on artificial intelligence and healthcare will address the balance between using AI to more quickly identify and develop potential COVID19 interventions while also ensuring their safety and efficacy. Our work on “deep fakes” is being extended to ask whether we can better control false information about important topics such as COVID19 from proliferating on the
internet while also protecting free speech. How can we use location-based apps to track coronavirus transmission while also protecting persona privacy? And finally our work on genetics and disease susceptibility is examining how genetic differences in coronavirus susceptibility and using genetic changes in the virus to trace transmission and exposure will have regulatory and liability implications.
I list these examples to make the larger point that virtually every legal issue we will face in the future, whether in the short-term with the current emergency and longer-term with the many challenges and opportunities that will steer your career, will have a significant technology and science component. And vice versa, every scientific, technological, and medical advance will present novel legal issues. We hope that the training and experience we have provided you on the intersection of law,
science and technology will make you well-positioned to address effectively the many opportunities and challenges you will encounter in your career. We look forward to staying in touch with you, and learning from your experiences and accomplishments. But for now, a heartfelt congratulations on finishing your JD journey, and we all wish we could be there to congratulate you in person