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Conference Celebrates Consortium's Tenth Anniversary

FEBRUARY 4, 2009—The University of Minnesota's Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences and the Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences, both housed in the Law School, celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2009 and are commemorating the occasion with a full-day conference on Friday, March 6, 2009.

The conference, "What's Next in Law, Health & the Life Sciences? Debating Openness, Access & Accountability," will take place in Cowles Auditorium in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute on the University's West Bank campus. It is intended for students, faculty, attorneys, researchers, scientists, policymakers, healthcare professionals, and community members.

Panel discussions and Q&A sessions will feature top national researchers, scholars, educators, and legal experts addressing emerging issues in genomic, neuroscience, healthcare, and environmental research and in science oversight. Professor Larry Gostin, J.D., Director of the O'Neill Center for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law/Johns Hopkins University, will present the keynote address entitled "The Challenges of Global Health: What the Next Decade Will Bring."

The Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences was formed 10 years ago when the Regents approved a plan for an innovative cross-disciplinary program tackling the greatest challenges of the 21st century—issues at the intersection of law, ethics, policy, science, and medicine. The Program was conceived by a committee of eminent members of the University and the community.

Shortly thereafter, the Program launched the Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences, a collaboration that pools the expertise and resources of centers and programs across the University to work on these issues and catalyze national debate. In 2003, President Robert Bruininks named the Consortium a Presidential Interdisciplinary Academic Initiative. A year later the Consortium, together with the Law School, inaugurated the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, a multidisciplinary journal published twice annually and edited by University faculty and law students.

Today, the Consortium comprises the knowledge and capabilities of 17 University centers and institutes that focus on everything from international technology policy to water resources, from animal health and food safety to spirituality and healing. It is directed by the member centers and programs. McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine & Public Policy and the Faegre & Benson Professor of Law Susan Wolf is the founding Director of the Joint Degree Program and the founding Chair of the Consortium, and she continues to oversee their activities.

During their 10-year history, the Joint Degree Program and the Consortium have grown into top national programs engaged in cutting-edge research, scholarship, policy work, community engagement, and student training. The Consortium's research has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Greenwall Foundation. As of the 2007-08 schoolyear, the Joint Degree Program has graduated 16 students who combined a law degree with one of 22 other professional and graduate degrees, and the Consortium has awarded more than $670,000 across the University toward work on the societal implications of the life sciences.

Continuing Education Credits

The University of Minnesota is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Application for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits will be filed with the University of Minnesota Office of Continuing Medical Education. Determination of credit is pending (5 hours will be requested). Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

It is the policy of the University of Minnesota's Office of Continuing Medical Education to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its sponsored educational activities. All participating faculty, course directors, and planning committee members are required to disclose to the program audience any financial relationships related to the subject matter of this program. Disclosure information is reviewed in advance in order to manage and resolve any possible conflicts of interest.

Continuing Legal Education credit (CLE) for attorneys has been approved for standard CLE credits at 7.75 hours.

This event has been designated by the University of Minnesota's Office of the Vice President for Research to satisfy the Awareness/Discussion component of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing education requirement.

 
Consortium's Tenth Anniversary
More information is available on the conference here, on the Consortium here, and the Joint Degree program here.