Consortium Introduction

The Consortium conducts original research, serves students and faculty, and advances public dialogue and understanding on emerging issues at the intersection of science and society.

Office closed & working remotely -- The Consortium on Law and Values, along with most of the University of Minnesota, is currently working remotely. We will still be online and responding to phone and email, but may be slightly delayed in responding to messages. Thanks for your understanding and please take care of yourself!

Latest News

Dr. Stephen Thomas

Dr. Stephen Thomas on Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in Black Americans

February 25, 2021

Prof. Stephen Thomas, PhD, Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland, spoke to CIDRAP News about efforts to increase COVID vaccination uptake in the African American communityRead the full article here. Dr. Thomas will be a featured speaker at “Conducting Research in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Ethics in an Emergency,” the Consortium’s annual research ethics webinar. The webinar takes place Wednesday, March 3 from 9:00am - 1:30pm Central time. Register now to attend.


Genomics Center Scientists Monitor Wastewater for COVID Variants

February 19, 2021

Scientists at the University of Minnesota Genomics Center are analyzing wastewater samples in an effort to track the spread of COVID variants. This gives scientists and policy-makers another tool to track the spread COVID variants, in addition to clinical testing. The Star Tribune reports, “Kenny Beckman, director of the U Genomics Center, said a long-term goal is to develop a way to rule out the presence of newer strains.”  The Genomics Center is a Consortium member centerRead more about their efforts here.

Marcella Smith

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith on Combating COVID Inequities

February 11, 2021

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, chair of the Biden-Harris Administration COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, recently spoke to the New York Times about racial disparities in the health system, vaccine hesitancy, structural barriers to administering vaccines, and her role in the Biden-Harris administration. Read the full article here. Dr. Nunez-Smith will be a featured speaker for “Conducting Research in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Ethics in an Emergency,” the Consortium’s annual research ethics webinar. The webinar takes place Wednesday, March 3 from 9:00am - 1:30pm Central time (NOTE: Dr. Nunez-Smith will no longer be able to join us. Please see the conference webpage for more details). Register now to attend

Michael Georgieff

Prof. Michael Georgieff Named 2020 Agnes Higgins Award Recipient

February 3, 2021

The March of Dimes recently announced Prof. Michael Georgieff as the recipient of the 2020 Agnes Higgins Award. This award is given for “distinguished achievement in research, education or clinical services in the field of maternal-fetal nutrition.” Prof. Georgieff was recognized for his research on how iron deficiency in early life can cause lasting neurobehavioral effects. Prof. Gerogieff is co-Director of the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain, and a longtime member of the Consortium’s Executive Committee. Read more about Prof. Georgieff’s award here.

Annual Research Ethics Day Webinar

Conducting Research in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Ethics in an Emergency
March 3, 2021 - 9:00am to 1:30pm
Online - Zoom - Central time
View a raw recording of the webinar here:

COVID-19 Resources: Ethical, Legal & Social Implications

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing profound ethical, legal, and social challenges. The Consortium is compiling relevant resources offered by our member centers and by other organizations to help researchers, clinicians, legal professionals, students, and communities navigate these challenges. View COVID-19 resources here

Message from the Consortium Chair

Our Consortium is a large, interdisciplinary community, linked by work on the ethical, legal, and social implications of biomedicine and the life sciences. Across our community, this is a time of deep mourning and challenge. We face a global pandemic that has already taken too many lives. At the same time, we face the brutal murder of George Floyd here in Minneapolis and the entrenched structural racism it revealed. To learn that Mr. Floyd was burdened by COVID-19 in the weeks before his killing makes it dramatically clear that the COVID pandemic and racism are intertwined. The pandemic is starkly illuminating the long-standing health disparities in this country and persistent failure of health care and governing institutions to advance health equity and justice. The results of that failure are horrific.... Read full message here.

LawSeqSM Database

Use the LawSeqSM Database to search the law of genomics in the U.S. – both federal and state law. The Database also offers a Bibliography collecting relevant secondary sources. The goal of the LawSeqSM project is to map and shape the law of genomics to build a solid foundation for clinical integration. Creation of this unique resource was funded by a grant from NIH.