Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

Dis-Owning Nature: The BRCA Gene Patents and the Supreme Court

Chris Hansen

Lawyer, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Retired

November 12, 2013, 5:00pm-7:00pm
Science Center, Auditorium D, 1 Oxford Street


Video of this lecture is located here.


George M. Church

Harvard Medical School and Broad Institute

Glenn Cohen

Harvard Law School

Judy Norsigian

Our Bodies, Ourselves

Tania Simoncelli

Former Science Advisor, ACLU

Moderated by

Sheila Jasanoff

Harvard Kennedy School

About the speaker

Chris Hansen joined the ACLU in 1973. He spent 10 years at the NYCLU specializing in complex litigation seeking reform of the mental retardation and mental health systems. He then spent 10 years as the Associate Director of the Children’s Rights Project of the ACLU specializing in complex litigation seeking reform of child welfare systems and in school desegregation. Since the mid-1990’s, Mr. Hansen has been a staff attorney at the ACLU and worked on a wide variety of cases. He led the ACLU’s decades-long, successful battle to ensure that speech on the Internet receive the highest First Amendment protection. Most recently, he led the ACLU’s effort to invalidate patents granted on human genes. Mr. Hansen has argued cases in the US Supreme Court, and many of the federal courts of appeals, federal district courts, and state trial and appellate courts. Mr. Hansen retired from the ACLU in 2013.