By Michelle Meyer
So, one thing they say about being on the law teaching market is that you likely will never before have enjoyed — and, less happily, will likely never again enjoy — so much attention to your work and so many opportunities to discuss it. That’s totally true, and it’s totally fabulous. But there’s a flip side of that that they don’t tell you: after a while, you get burned out on talking about the same paper over and over again. You’ve likely moved on to other projects and are more excited about them, even if (or because) those projects build on your job talk paper. At this point in the process, your recitation of your job talk paper may have become rote and uninspired. You may, like me, have come to dread the act of rattling off your job talk paper’s thesis and why it matters.
And so it is that, having promised some months ago to blog my job talk paper on what I call the “heterogeneity problem” in research regulation, I have yet really to do so. I’ve blogged around the edges, to be sure (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here), but I can’t bring myself to explain the central thesis one more time. I also owe book editors (holla, Glenn and Holly!) a chapter on the challenges of heterogeneity for the growing global trend in “risk-based regulation” across many industries, and I’ve been procrastinating that, too, I think, largely because it requires me first to provide the reader with a précis of the heterogeneity problem. All of this is annoying, because there are lots of things that build on that central thesis that I’d like to write about, if only I could get over this strange aversion.
Enter physician-scientist David Shaywitz, whose overly kind piece yesterday in the Pharma & Healthcare section of Forbes.com, Personalized Regulation: More Than Just Personalized Medicine — And Urgently Required, highlights my work and, essentially, Up Goers it for me. It of course doesn’t cover all of the points I make in the paper, and in other ways it extends my thesis beyond what I defend in the paper, but it gives readers the gist. Thank you, David! (Let this also serve as supplemental answers to hiring committee questions about “What does your work have to do with the law?” and “Aren’t you ‘just’ a bioethicist whose work has no relevance for health or administrative law?”)
And now, with that out of the way, in my next post I’ll feel free to apply the heterogeneity problem to this question I was asked on Twitter. I can almost guarantee you that it will be my first and last post about football.
[Cross-posted at The Faculty Lounge]