Technology and Law Program

The Technology and Law Program (T&L), directed by Professor Nicholas A. Ashford, offers research opportunities and graduate-level courses that focus on the interface of law and technology, especially as it relates to sustainable development. Research activities include the design and evaluation of policies that encourage technological change for the prevention of chemical pollution through regulation, liability, and economic incentives; policies for addressing unemployment caused by both technological displacement and the offshoring of jobs; promoting environmental justice by involving communities in governmental decisions that affect their health, safety, and environment; and addressing the effects of globalization on sustainability.

T&L offers an in-depth graduate/undergraduate course in Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics that is co-listed in Engineering and Urban Studies, and Law, Technology, and Public Policy, a core subject in the Technology and Policy Program and Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development both of which are listed jointly with the School of Engineering and the MIT Sloan School. Originally part of the Cambridge–MIT Institute, lectures from the latter course continue to be offered at Cambridge University and are also taught at the Cyprus University of Technology affiliated with the Harvard School of Public Health. A course in European and International Environmental Law is periodically taught both at Cambridge and in Cyprus. As a result of the writings of the Technology and Law Program, the MIT perspective on environmental law and sustainability has achieved international recognition. 

Technology and Law Publications

Program highlighted publications include:

Technology, Globalization and Sustainable Development: Transforming the Industrial State, N. A. Ashford and R. P Hall, Yale University Press, 2011, 720 pages. See: http://ralphphall.wordpress.com/technology-globalization-and-sustainable-development/

For presentations of the ideas addressed in this book see:


Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics: Reclaiming the Environmental Agenda, N.A. Ashford and C.C. Caldart, MIT Press, 2008, 1088 pages. See   http://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262012386

Ashford Nicholas “Reducing Physical Hazards: Encouraging Inherently Safer Production” (2012) in Robert Boethling .Adelina Voutchkova, and Paul Anastas (Eds) Designing Safer Chemicals Handbook of Green Chemistry Series 9:485-500, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany.

Government Regulation of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety in the United States and the European Union” (2010) Nicholas A. Ashford and Charles C. Caldart in Occupational and Environmental Health: Recognizing and Preventing Disease and Injury, 6th ed. Barry S. Levy, David H. Wegman, Rosie Sokas, and Sherry Baron (eds.), Oxford University Press 2010. Available at http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/55358

“‘Friday off’: Reducing Working hours in Europe” (2013). Giorgos Kallis, Michael Kalush, Hugh O’Flynn, Jack Rossiter, and Nicholas Ashford, Sustainability 4(5):1545-1567. Available at http://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability Type in “Ashford” in author search.

Addressing the Crisis in Employment and Consumer Demand: Reconciliation with Financial and Environmental Sustainability” (2012). N. A. Ashford, R. P. Hall, and R. Ashford. The European Financial Review October-November 2012, pp. 63-68. Available at http://www.europeanfinancialreview.com/?p=5884

Broadening Capital Acquisition with the Earnings of Capital as a Means of Sustainable Growth and Environmental Sustainability” (2012). R. Ashford, R. P. Hall, and N. A. Ashford. The European Financial Review October-November 2012, pp. 70-74. Available at http://www.europeanfinancialreview.com/?p=5984

The Crisis in Employment and Consumer Demand: Reconciliation with Environmental Sustainability” (2012). N. A Ashford, R. P. Hall, and R.H. Ashford.  Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. Volume 2, Issue 1 Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2210422412000032

Ashford, Nicholas “Major Challenges To Education for Sustainable Development: Can the Current Nature of Institutions of Higher Education Hope to Educate the Change Agents Needed for Sustainable Development?” (2010). Available at http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/38479.

 “The Importance of Regulation-Induced Innovation for Sustainable Development” N. A. Ashford and R. P. Hall (2011). Sustainability 3(1): 270-292. Available at http://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability Type in “Ashford” in author search.

Regulation-Induced Innovation for Sustainable Development” N. A. Ashford and R. P. Hall (2012).Administrative & Regulatory News 37(3):21-23, American Bar Association.

Rethinking the Role of Information in Chemicals Policy: Implications for TSCA and REACH”, Lars Koch and Nicholas A. Ashford, Journal of Cleaner Production 14(1): 31-46 2006. Available at http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/38476 Revised version published in Environmental Law Network International 2(2005):22-37. Available at http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/55292

Ashford, Nicholas “The Legacy of The Precautionary Principle In U.S. Law: The Rise of Cost-Benefit Analysis and Risk Assessment as Undermining Factors in Health, Safety and Environmental Protection” in Nicolas de Sadeleer (ed.), Implementation the Precautionary Principle: Approaches from the Nordic Countries. the EU and the United States Earthscan: London, 2007.  Available at http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/38470

Technology and Law Personnel

Technology and Policy professor Nicholas Ashford is director of the Technology and Law Program. Charles Caldart participates as a lecturer in T&L course offerings.