Law, Science and Technology

For better or worse, the law plays an important role in regulating and shaping many areas of science, technology, engineering, and health. In some instances, legal and regulatory provisions promote scientific discovery and technological innovation, whereas, in others, such schemes function to restrict research in these domains. Conversely, science and technology have also had a profound and long-standing impact on the law. However, despite such rich opportunities for scholarly inquiry, the intersections of law with science and technology remains a neglected field of study. The aim of the UQ Law, Science and Technology Program is to respond to this gap and, in so doing, to become a national and international hub for research, teaching, and post-graduate studies for those interested in this interdisciplinary field.

Housed at one of the world’s leading research universities specialising in science and technology, the Law, Science and Technology Program at the TC Beirne School of Law promotes interdisciplinary research and teaching on a wide range of topics, including:

  • The legal regulations that govern day-to-day scientific practice, including technology transfer agreements, laboratory regulatory policy, and codes of conduct.
  • The security, privacy, and surveillance concerns arising from the development of new digital technologies and algorithms.
  • The intersection of bioethics and the law, particularly in relation to pharmaceutical practices, medical research, and emerging therapeutic techniques.
  • The use of new forensic science techniques as evidence in legal proceedings.

Evaluating how a legal understanding of science and technology shapes legal issues that arise with the patenting of human genes, nanotechnology and synthetic biology.

UQ’s Law, Science and Technology Program brings together academics, students and staff from The University of Queensland’s TC Beirne School of Law who are interested in exploring the complex interaction of law, science, and technology from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

In particular, the program aims to:

  • Contribute to the university’s research profile by promoting the production of high-end scholarship in an emerging and increasingly important field of inquiry.
  • Enrich the learning experience of students at UQ with an interest in law, science and technology.
  • Foster and stimulate public debate on issues pertaining to law, science, and technology.

The Law, Science and Technology Program was established in 2017 by the TC Beirne School of Law in conjunction with the BEL Faculty and the Faculty of Science.