Alta Charo was a rapporteur and member of the planning committee for "Risks and Benefits of Gain of Function Research," a National Academy of Sciences symposium on research involving pathogens with pandemic potential such as influenza, MERS and SARS. The December symposium was part of an advisory process for the White House, which has temporarily halted some forms of this research, including some kinds of research done at UW.
John Ohnesorge participated in a panel on the study of law and development in China during the economic reform era. The panel was part of the conference titled "The Past and Future of Law & Development," held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in December. The event was organized by the Conference on Global Law and Development and the FGV Law School, and funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre.
In December, Alta Charo gave presentations at the University of Paris (Pantheon-Sorbonne and Assas) on the subject of reproductive rights, theories of the human body as property, and markets in reproductive tissue.
Wisconsin faculty members share a commitment to excellence in research, embracing a wide variety of substantive concerns and methodological approaches. The faculty has long been known for its interest in interdisciplinary work and for its commitment to a law-in-action approach to scholarship.
For Wisconsin scholars, no matter how interesting or elegant the underlying theory, Wisconsin's law-in-action approach challenges them to answer the question: "Why should this matter to people in the real world?" In contrast to legal scholars whose work is theory-based, Wisconsin scholars tend to begin with an observed, real-world problem or phenomenon and then seek to explain it and to put it into a larger theoretical context.
Much of the research undertaken at Wisconsin is devoted to explaining how law and legal institutions work and often to understanding why law and legal institutions might not be working as intended. The Wisconsin faculty contextualizes law, studying it as one of many social processes that may shape behavior. Many faculty members are active in the Law & Society Association, an international organization of scholars who study the interrelation of society and the legal process; indeed, the current Wisconsin faculty includes three LSA past presidents.
The work of the Wisconsin faculty is not geographically bounded. Though a majority study U.S. law, a growing number explore law in less familiar settings and are focusing their research on the workings of law in countries throughout the world.