Harvard to draw a bead on the effect of money on the exercise of professional judgment in the public interest

Lawrence Lessig named professor of law at HLS, director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics

Excerpt from the announcement:

As faculty director of the Center, Lessig will expand on the center’s work to encourage teaching and research about ethical issues in public and professional life. He will also launch a major five-year project examining what happens when public institutions depend on money from sources that may be affected by the work of those institutions — for example, medical research programs that receive funding from pharmaceutical companies whose drugs they review, or academics whose policy analyses are underwritten by special interest groups.

“I am very excited to be returning to Harvard to work on a project of enormous importance to our democracy,” said Lessig. “The chance to extend the work of the Center to focus on the problems of institutional independence is timely and essential. I am eager to work with friends and old colleagues from the Law School and across the University to make this project a success.”

Editor’s Note:  Assuming the Center gets detailed access to the “who pays, how much and when” things may get very interesting.  For a preview see Maplight.org and OpenSecrets.org