Faculty Close-up: Kerry Macintosh
Professor Kerry Macintosh, who teaches contracts and commercial transactions, also teaches and researches in an area where law and science overlap- and not in IP or patents. Professor Macintosh has spent years studying assisted reproductive technologies, cloning, and genetic engineering. She observes how the law tries to address these issues and also predicts where the law will find itself depending on different potential paths of the scientific research.
Professor Macintosh’s most recent publication is a book entitled “Human Cloning: Four Fallacies and Their Legal Consequences” (Cambridge University Press 2013). In this book, she first describes the current state of research in animal and human cloning. Next, she delves into the psychology of why humans believe in four common fallacies: that clones are copies, manufactured products, imposters, and reincarnations of the dead. Professor Macintosh uses theories of psychological essentialism to explain these beliefs.
Finally, Professor Macintosh turns to examine the current state of cloning law. Congress has tried to address cloning, but has failed to reach consensus. Some legislators want only to ban the cloning of babies. Others insist that all cloning should be outlawed, including the cloning of embryos for stem cell research. There is no SCOTUS precedent that directly addresses the ability of Congress to ban an entire field of research. As Professor Macintosh notes, if Congress can ban cloning, then the precedent created will have a slippery slope of potential consequences for other areas of scientific research.