At the Academy
At UCSD, my specific research interests revolve around law and technology, including intellectual property, especially copyright; medicine, including vaccination and public health; scientific expertise; and civil rights, especially as related to the Internet and technology.
My thesis work focuses on foundations of the law of privacy (understood to include liberty and autonomy), especially the role of technology on the development of American law in the nineteenth century.
I primarily work under Professor Tal Golan in the History of Science department, though I also work with others, including Professor Robert Horwitz of Communications, and Professor Michael Parrish of History (Unites States).
My blog, in propria persona, provides in-progress drafts of much of my ongoing work.
Broadly stated, my current research involves an investigation into the impact of new technologies on practical aspects of the law. Thus, I am interested in broad questions like whether societal ideals and conceptions drive both the law and technology, or if technology drives the law and societal expectations, or if there is some other factor at play. While primarily an historical investigation, these questions have applicability to the contemporary world, and most especially to issues of Internet privacy, wiretapping, and electronic searches generally.
More specifically, I am researching privacy in the 19th century, and the implications new technologies (like the telegraph) had on conceptions of privacy. As part of this work, I am also working on antebellum legal history, especially in regards to federal/state power and the reception of English common law. Additionally, I am bringing in research on use and perception of scientific and technological expertise and authority by both the public and politicians to inform my understanding of the processes at work
And, of course, I also continue to pursue work on other issues, such as the role of technology transfer offices in an increasingly neoliberal university environment.
The history of communications and privacy is not the only area I have worked on in an academic context. In the past, I have looked at:
- The modern anti-vaccination movement, the historical anti-vaccination movement, and lessons to be learned from historical smallpox vaccinations
- Transnational wiretaps and the Fourth Amendment (published in 2008/09)
- Open source and open access in the context of patent law (published in 2008)
- and more!