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 shifting to remote work for all staff beginning March 16. 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 yourselves!

Latest News

Prof. Fernandez Lynch

Prof. Holly Fernandez Lynch on COVID-19 Vaccine Trials and Transparency

September 18, 2020

In an article featured on STAT, Professor Holly Fernandez Lynch comments on transparency and trust related to ongoing AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trials. Prof. Lynch will be a featured panelist for “Reconciling Research and Treatment: Seeking Answers & Saving Lives,” the second of the Consortium’s “COVID Controversies: Ethical Challenges in Research & Treatment webinar series. The webinar takes place Friday, October 16 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Central time. Register now to attend.

Covid 19 dashboard

Former FDA Commissioners Califf and Hamburg on Political Pressure & Vaccines

September 11, 2020

In a recent CNN story, two former Commissioners of the Food and Drug Administration offer their perspectives on how political pressure could affect the release of a COVID-19 vaccine. Both also feature in the Consortium’s “COVID Controversies: Ethical Challenges in Research & Treatment” webinar series. Dr. Robert Califf, FDA Commissioner from 2016-17, will take part in “Reconciling Research and Treatment: Seeking Answers & Saving Lives,” on Friday, October 16. Register now to attend. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who served as FDA Commissioner for six years, was featured in “COVID Vaccine Research & Deployment: Reconciling Speed & Safety,” as well as a follow-up Q&A session. Video for the webinar and follow-up session is available.   


COVID-19 Vaccine Trial to be Conducted in Minnesota

September 3, 2020

HealthPartners has announced that it is recruiting 1,500 Minnesota adults to participate in a Phase 3 study of a vaccine candidate developed by AstraZeneca. A Star Tribune article details the goals of the vaccine study, how the proposed vaccine is supposed to work, and how a vaccine may be distributed once it is approved. The article includes insights provided in the Consortium’s recent “COVID Vaccine Research & Deployment: Reconciling Speed & Safety” webinar. Dr. Margaret Hamburg warns that political interference may “undermine confidence and trust, while Dr. Nicole Lurie explains that continued vaccine development and improvement will likely continue even after a vaccine becomes availableRead the full Star Tribune article here


Dr. Margaret Hamburg Comments on Convalescent Plasma and COVID-19

August 25, 2020

In an interview with National Public Radio, Dr. Margaret Hamburg discussed the FDA approval of convalescent plasma as a potential treatment option for COVID-19. Dr. Hamburg was the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration for six years and recently retired as foreign secretary for the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Hamburg will appear with other experts for “COVID Vaccine Research & Deployment: Reconciling Speed & Safety,” this Friday, August 28. Register now to attend.

COVID Controversies: Ethical Challenges in Research & Treatment - Webinar Series

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

Upcoming Events

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.