IP Faculty Q&A: Professor Bruce Huber

Author: Program on IP & Technology Law

Bruce Huber Web

Are you missing campus following announcements by the University and the Law School to postpone events and move to online courses to reduce the risks and mitigate the impact of COVID-19? We’ve got your IP Law cravings covered! We’re staying in touch with the NDLS IP Community through stories and posts that spotlight the people that make our Program great while offering fun and helpful guidance during these extraordinary times. For our latest installment of “Five Questions in the Time of Coronavirus” we talk to Professor Bruce Huber, the Journal on Emerging Technologies’ Faculty Advisor, who teaches and conducts research in the areas of environmental law, natural resources law, property, and energy law. Professor Huber is also a fellow of the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at Notre Dame, an affiliated faculty member of the Technology Ethics Center at Notre Dame, and an editor of the journal Transnational Environmental Law


NDLawIP: As classes go online for the next few weeks, what are you most looking forward to in this new digital teaching environment?

BH: I'm an unrepentant extrovert, so I won't lie, this is going to be hard from me. I'm not looking forward to lecturing at an aluminum box. By far, I'm most looking forward to real-time office hours and chats with students.


NDLawIP: What advice do you have for students during this unexpected time? 

BH: You mean, advice based on all my previous experience with pandemics? :)  My advice is to stay on top of your mental health. Give yourself lots of grace. Getting through each day without losing your mind is a victory. No one will judge you for not being at the very top of your game during a pandemic. When this whole thing is over, there will be plenty of time to pad your resume again. If you're having a hard time psychologically, try the counterintuitive approach of reaching out to help others. Serving others is one of the best antidepressants there is.


NDLawIP: It’s said that Isaac Newton developed calculus and the theory of gravity when Cambridge temporarily closed in 1666 and that Shakespeare wrote King Lear under similar circumstances. Given all the time in the world, what legal theory would you craft or what legal issue would you solve? 

BH: I would do my level best to restore objectivity to the law. There are precious few social institutions that can plausibly claim to bring people together under generally-agreed-upon principles. Law is one of them, and its ability to do so is waning.


NDLawIP: What’s your favorite YouTube channel, Instagram account, or Twitter feed to follow now? 

BH: Well, this is tricky. I've never been big on social media. Perhaps I should start now, since the alternative seems to be a hermit-like existence. Suggestions are welcome.


NDLawIP: As Aristotle said, we are social animals. What are you doing to stave off cabin fever and maintain your humanity during this time of social distancing? 

BH: As far as cabin fever, my answer now, in week one, is to do lots of physical work (in my yard, for example) and exercise. My answer might be very different in week five! And as far as maintaining humanity, I'm trying to reach out to people as much as I can, just to provide connection for myself and anyone else who needs it.