Patricia Williams
Published February 9, 2014
Updated April 21, 2021

Patricia Williams is a professor at Northeastern University’s law school and in the department of philosophy and religion. She is also director of Law, Technology and Ethics Initiatives in the School of Law and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Williams is an expert in bioethics, critical race theory, health law, gender, genetics and other topics. Her research examines individual autonomy and identity in the context of legal and ethical debates on science and technology, looking at, for example, how genetics and algorithms shape our lives.

Williams began her law career as a consumer advocate and freelance journalist. She wrote a monthly column, Diary of a Mad Law Professor, for The Nation and blogs at She is the author of several books, including The Alchemy of Race and Rights and Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000.

Expertise: Bioethics, civil and human rights, social justice, genetics, health law, critical race theory, gender, technology law

Location: Boston, Mass.


Heard on NPR: Tell Me More: Will Obama’s Presidency Change Perceptions Among Blacks?

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