Julia Powles on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale

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We talk with legal scholar and journalist Dr. Julia Powles. At Cambridge, Julia was associated with the Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences and Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law, and a Research Associate of the Faculty and Computer Laboratory. She is now a Research Fellow at Cornell Tech and NYU Law School, in New York City.

Julia has done some deep dives into dubious methods of data acquisition by Google, focusing on Google subsidiary Deep Mind’s NHS data grab. Our conversation starts with Hal Hodson’s reporting on Deep Mind for the New Scientist. Julia explains the findings of the Information Commissioner and the subtle intersection of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the “boot out” to the Caldicott Guidelines. The relevance to the U.S. is confirmed with discussions of the “first mover” advantages in establishing data market power, the problems associated with the privatization of public health data, and the “transparency paradox” associated with big data companies.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Frank Pasquale and Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in Health Law & Policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, listen at Stitcher Radio Tunein, or Podbean, or search for The Week in Health Law in your favorite podcast app. Show notes and more are at TWIHL.com. If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find us on Twitter @nicolasterry @FrankPasquale @WeekInHealthLaw

What if Trump Censors Climate Science? Scientific Research Policy and Law under the Trump Administration

Cross-posted from the Take Care blog.

By Dov Fox

Global warming embarrasses President Donald Trump’s insular creed of “America First.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently confirmed all-time record-high temperatures and sea levels around the world. Yet President Trump has promised that the United States will be virtually alone in refusing to honor the commitments it had made in the Paris climate agreement. Indeed, his administration has systematically deregulated previous efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while dismantling efforts to protect the country’s air, water, and wildlife.

More elusive threats to climate science are lurking behind the scenes. The Trump administration ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to shut down its climate webpage, gagged EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture employees from using terms like “climate change” and “emissions reduction” in any written communications, and forbade scientists there from discussing their (taxpayer-funded) research with anyone outside of the agency. The White House has at the same time defunded climate science and terminated ongoing studies into environmental threats ranging from the toxicity levels of Midwestern streams to the health risks of Appalachian mining. Continue reading