The Law&Science Young Scholars Informal Symposium (YSIS) – 2012 round was held on May 14, 2012, in the Aula Scarpa of the University of Pavia.
The aim of the Symposium was to create a forum for post-graduate scholars, PhD students and early-career researchers working in the area of Law and Science. It provided participants with an opportunity to present and discuss their research with senior researchers of the Law&Science community in a constructive and friendly atmosphere.
Young researchers from around the world were asked to submit abstracts on any of the following topics:
a) The transnational law of science and converging technologies
b) Genetics and Biotechnology
c) Biobanks, Patents and Intellectual Property
d) Neuroscience and Law
e) New technologies
f) Artificial Intelligence
g) Ambient Intelligence
h) Freedom of scientific research
For this edition 29 abstracts were submitted, for a total of 34 applicants (indeed, it was possible to submit abstracts jointly). The applicants were mostly from European countries, but we also received abstracts from outside Europe (please see our statistics).
Two international referees evaluated each abstract. This preliminary judgement led to select 8 candidates. These eight young scholars were then requested to write a full paper, which was assessed by two other members of the Evaluation Panel at the final paper stage.
Taking into account both the abstract and the paper stage, the Evaluation Panel was composed of the following international experts (in alphabetical order):
Roberto Alemanno, Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) Paris, France
Charles H. Baron, Boston College Law School, U.S.A.
Rainhard Bengez, Technische Universität München, Germany
Carlo Casonato, University of Trento, Italy
Paul Catley, Bristol Law School, U.K.
Jennifer Chandler, University of Ottawa, Canada
Lisa Claydon, Bristol Law School, U.K.
Oliver Goodenough, Vermont Law School, U.S.A.
Pim Haselager, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, The Netherlands
Alan Meisel, Center for Bioethics and Health Law, U.S.A.
Federico Pizzetti, University of Milan, Italy
Carlo Alberto Redi, Department of Animal Biology, University of Pavia, Italy
Anne-Lise Sibony, University of Liège, Belgium
Jürgen Simon, University of Lüneburg, Germany
Tade Mathias Spranger, University of Bonn, Germany
Bratislav Stankovic, School of Law, University American College Skopje, Macedonia
The selected candidates who got through the abstract phase were (in alphabetical order):
Chiara Boscarato (University of Pavia, I)
Artificial Intelligence and Models of Legal Arguments
Amber Dar (University of Manchester, UK)
Can "best interests" justify child participation in medical research?
Edward Johnston (University of the West of England, UK)
Neuroscientific Evidence and the Criminal Justice Process of England and Wales
Migle Laukyte (CIRSFID, Bologna University School of Law, I)
An Approach to Issues of Liability Involving Artificially Intelligent Beings
Alice Margaria (European University Institute, Florence, I)
The Impact of Modern Reproductive Technologies on the Legal Determination of Fatherhood: A Human Rights Perspective
Vesselin Paskalev (European University Institute, Florence, I)
Courts as Academies: Balancing of Scientific Arguments in Regulation of Uncertainties
Marta Tomasi (University of Trento, I)
Direct to consumer genetic testing: steps on the path towards a personalised healthcare?
Isabell Verdier-Büschel (Universität Basel / Institute for Biomedical Ethics, CH)
Medical data sharing vs. Privacy protection: where science meets law
According to the formula of the Symposium, in addition to the Young Scholars’ presentations there was also a keynote lecture by an international expert at the beginning of each session.
The morning session was opened by Carlo Casonato, professor of Constitutional Law and Biolaw at the University of Trento, who gave a lecture on "Hot issues in comparative constitutional biolaw". He was introduced by Amedeo Santosuosso, Professor of Law Science and New Technologies at the University of Pavia and current President of the European Center for Law, Science and New Techcnologies (ECLT) at the same university.
The afternoon session was opened by Gabriella Bottini, Professor of Physiological Psychology at the University of Pavia and coordinator of the laboratory of Neuropsychology at the Neurological Science Department of the Niguarda Hospital, with a provocative lecture on "Neuroscience and law: any relationship?". She was introduced by Carlo Alberto Redi, former Director of the ECLT Centre and member of the Italian Academy of Science (Accademia dei Lincei).
The two best papers (as selected by the International Evaluation Panel) were awarded the Fondazione Maugeri Prize, sponsored by Fondazione Maugeri of Pavia. The prize-giving took place at the end of the day.
First Prize: Courts as Academies: Balancing of Scientific Arguments in Regulation of Uncertainties, by Vesselin Paskalev (European University Institute, Florence, I)
Second Prize: Direct to consumer genetic testing: steps on the path towards a personalised healthcare? by Marta Tomasi (University of Trento, I)
Two other papers were awarded with a special mention:
Can "best interests" justify child participation in medical research?, Amber Dar (University of Manchester, UK)
Artificial Intelligence and Models of Legal Arguments, Chiara Boscarato (University of Pavia, I)
The event was promoted by the European Center for Law, Science and New Techcnologies (ECLT) Università degli Studi di Pavia and the Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori of Pavia (IUSS, Institute for Advanced Study) in cooperation with Collegio Ghislieri (Pavia) and Fondazione Maugeri (Pavia).
Given the success of this and past editions, the Symposium now represents one of the most significant events the ECLT promotes to boost the interest of young researchers in Law&Science. The active involvement of young researchers working on the international stage and the profitable meeting of international and Italian research centre make the YSIS an invaluable reality in the Italian and European research landscape.
The book of papers will be published soon, according to the publication of the 2011 Round papers:
C. Boscarato - F. Caroleo - A. Santosuosso (eds), Law&Science Young Scholars Informal Symposium - 2011 Round (book of papers), Pavia University Press, 2012. Available at
The call for abstract for the 2013 Round is expected Fall 2012.