Having taught philosophy of science at UBC from 1967-1988, Ed joined the start-up biotechnology company QLT Inc. (then Quadra Logic Technologies) in 1988. In effect this move enabled him to work actively in one of his prior main areas of research interest, namely in the intersection of science and social issues. (See below.) He worked in regulatory affairs and project management – primarily in the field of cancer — before becoming Vice President, Corporate Development in 1993. As VP, CD, he had major responsibility for establishing, developing, and managing QLT’s strategic alliances, led strategic planning, and oversaw the intellectual property area. Partnerships were with large and mid-sized pharmaceutical companies, device companies and other biotechs. Of special note was the alliance with CIBA Vision Ophthalmics, now Novartis Ophthalmics (NVO). The alliance with NVO enabled QLT to develop Visudyne®-PDT, where PDT is “photodynamic therapy”, a method of treatment involving a photoactive drug (e.g. Visudyne) and its activation by appropriate light. The principal application of Visudyne-PDT is as a treatment for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. As a senior manager of QLT, he played a significant role in building QLT into one North America’s leading biotechnology companies.

Ed became an adjunct professor at the Centre in September 2002, and retired QLT at the end of that year.

Ed’s interests in the interactions among science and social institutions in the fields of law, ethics, economics, government were honed on joint research projects studying the Green Revolution in Asia and what a multi-disciplinary project team called Mandated Science. (See first and last items in publication list below, respectively). The latter focused on the study of situations in which scientists had a mandate to make policy decisions or recommendations involving a great deal of scientific content. Examples include royal commissions, expert advisory commissions, and regulatory bodies.

Other areas of specialization included the interpretation of quantum theory in general, and what came to be know as the quantum logical approach.

Interests & Activities

Having just rejoined academia, Ed is in the process of sorting out research directions. One major activity will certainly be participation in the Genome Canada and Genome BC project Democracy, Ethics and Genomics, which is headed by Michael Burgess. His contributions are expected to be in the areas of ethical issues in regulatory and intellectual property, and perhaps in some aspects of modeling.

Other areas include patents and the developing world, and science and Buddhism.

Grants & Awards

Prior to 1988, Ed received substantial funding from U.S. National Science Foundation, SSHRC, and UBC.

Previously, Philosophy of Science; Arts One; Interpretations of Quantum Theory and Quantum Logic; Ethical and Political Implications of Science and Technology.

Ed serves on the boards of several biotechnology companies and a software company; Genome BC Ethics Advisory Committee; and BC Civil Liberties Association. He serves as a member of the health sector advisory committee to the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. (Served on the Board of BIOTECanada 1999-2002.)

1. Anderson, R.S., Brass, P., Levy, E., and Morrison, N. (1991) Rice Science and Development Politics: Research Strategies and IRRI’s Technologies Confront Asian Diversity (1950-1980), Oxford: Clarendon Press.

2. Levy, E. (1995) “Ethical Implementation: Experimental Drugs and the Seriously Ill”, Dialog, XXXIV, 829-844.

3. Levy, E. (2001) “Quantification, Mandated Science and Judgment”, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, 32:4, 723-737.

4. Anderson R.S., Brass, P., Levy, E., and Morrison, B, editors, Science, Politics and the Agricultural Revolution in Asia, Boulder: Westview Press, 1982. (A.A.A.S. Selected Symposia Series).

5. Levy, E. “Responsibility of the Scientific and Technological Enterprise in Technology Transfers” in A.A.A.S. Selected Symposia Series. (item 1 above) pp.

6. Copp, D. and Levy, E. “Value Neutrality in the Techniques of Policy Analysis: Risk and Uncertainty,” Journal of Business Administration, (1981) vol. 13, Nos. 1 and 2. Also in Energy, Ethics, Policy and Power, a volume published in 1982 by the (Canadian) Institute for Research on Public Policy.

7. “Science, Technology and Development: The Transfer of Values,” Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Conference, University of Rajasthan, India.

8. McGee, A.B. and Levy, E., “Herbicide Use in Forestry: Communication and Information Gaps”, Journal of Environmental Management. 26: 111-126 (1988).

9. Levy, E. “The Swedish Studies of Pesticide Exposure and Cancer: A Case Study of Disciplinary and Mandated Science,” Alternatives 15 (2): 48-64 (1988).

10. Salter, L. with Levy, E. and Leiss, W. Mandated Science, (1988) Dordrecht: Reidel, D.