Rescuing Science from Politics

Rescuing Science from Politics : Regulation and the Distortion of Scientific Research

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Rescuing Science from Politics debuts chapters by the nation's leading academics in law, science, and philosophy who explore ways that the law can be abused by special interests to intrude on the way scientists conduct research. The high stakes and adversarial features of regulation create the worst possible climate for the honest production and use of science especially by those who will ultimately bear the cost of the resulting regulatory standards. Yet an in-depth exploration of the ways in which dominant interest groups distort the available science to support their positions has received little attention in the academic or popular literature. The book begins by establishing non-controversial principles of good scientific practice. These principles then serve as the benchmark against which each chapter author compares how science is misused in a specific regulatory setting and assist in isolating problems in the integration of science by the regulatory process.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139239309
  • 9781139239301

Review quote

"These are difficult times for science in the zone where it converges with public policy. . . . [S]cience has been playing a critically important role in several areas that have become important exercises of government responsibility, including, but not limited to environmental quality regulations, litigation over damages associated with the external costs of private activity (toxic torts), and the legal responsibility of manufacturers for product harms. What has happened, in this more political contemporary environment, to science and the people who practice it? That is the subject of this book." From the Prologue by Dr. Donald Kennedy, Stanford University and Editor of Science "This compendium by some of the nation's top philosophers and legal scholars provides a chilling portrait of the heavy burdens on the scientific enterprise that have evolved over the past decade. Science remains an exquisitely social institution, with human fragilities, strengths, and follies. The marketplace of ideas is fettered by competing political interests. Democracy rests on an informed public that freely consents to be governed. This book reveals the precarious nature of scientific information on which any democratic society must depend." Devra Davis, Director, Center for Environmental Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute "For those who think of science as an honest and objective broker in policy making, this volume paints a very different picture, and it's not pretty. But it's the ugly side of the regulatory process, where scientific research is often distorted to serve questionable ends, that badly needs greater exposure. This book is an eye-opener that not only documents the problems, but also takes great pains to make sensible proposals for reform that merit serious consideration." Mark S. Frankel, Ph.D., Director, Scientific Freedom, Responsibility & Law Program, American Association for the Advancement of Science "This book begins with a sobering prologue by Science magazine editor-in-chief and former FDA commissioner Donald Kennedy alerting us to the dangers posed by the increasingly ruthless tactics used by powerful opponents to health and environmental regulations. The book proceeds with detailed example after example showing how opponents to governmental protections have engaged in deliberate and pernicious efforts to subvert the legitimate scientific process for their interest or that of their client and illustrating the Orwellian manner in which the concept of 'sound science' has been corrupted by special interests. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares deeply about science or how it is being both used and abused in public policy." Michael E. Mann, Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University "At a time when the United States government is pushing the limits of the law in the interest of risk-producing industries, this book provides a much-needed scholarly analysis of our state of affairs and makes it clear that our policies require recalibration in the interest of public welfare." New England Journal of Medicine "This book does an excellent job of flagging the concerns and pointing us in the right direction toward reform." Jeffrey C. Lerner, Ph.D. Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
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About Wendy Wagner

Wendy Wagner is the Joe A. Worsham Centennial Professor at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. She received a master's degree in environmental studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, a law degree from Yale Law School, and clerked for the Honorable Judge Albert Engel, Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Before entering academia, Wagner served as an honors attorney with the Environmental Enforcement section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the US Department of Justice in Washington DC and as the Pollution Control Coordinator in the Office of General Counsel, US Department of Agriculture. Wagner teaches courses in torts, environmental law, and regulation. Her research focuses on the law-science interface in environmental law and her articles have appeared in numerous journals including the Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, and Yale Law Reviews. She is a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Regulation and chair of its Science Issue Group. Rena Steinzor is the Jacob A. France Research Professor of Law at the University of Maryland School of Law and has a secondary appointment at the University's Medical School. She received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and her J.D. from Columbia University. Professor Steinzor joined the faculty in 1994 from the Washington, DC law firm of Spiegel and McDiarmid. Prior to joining the firm, from 1983 to 1987, she was staff counsel to the US House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee with primary jurisdiction over the nation's laws regulating hazardous substances. From 1976 to 1983, Professor Steinzor was an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission serving in a variety of consumer protection positions. She is a founder, as well as a member of the Board and the Executive Committee of the Center for Progressive Reform and the editor of the Center's book, A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment. She has written extensively on environmental federalism, alternative designs of regulatory system, and law and science, publishing in the Minnesota Law Review, Harvard Environmental Law Review, Duke Journal of Law and Policy, Yale Journal on Regulation, Environmental Forum, and Environmental Law Review.
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Table of contents

Prologue Donald Kennedy; Introduction: principled science Wendy Wagner and Rena Steinzor; Part I. Freedom and Independence: 1. Defending clean science from dirty attacks Thomas McGarity; 2. Basic science at risk: protecting the independence of research Katherine S. Squibb; 3. Publication bas, data ownership and the funding effect in science: threats to the integrity of biomedical research Sheldon Krimsky; 4. Science and subpoenas: when do the courts become instruments of manipulation? Paul M. Fischer; Part II. Transparency and Honesty: 5. Smothering the future: the data quality act and adaptive governance Donald Hornstein; 6. The dual legacy of Daubert v. Merrell-Dow Pharmaceutical: trading junk science for junk science Carl Cranor; 7. Using science in a political world: the importance of transparency in natural resource regulation Holly Doremus; 8. Two models for scientific transparency in environmental law David Adelman; 9. The transformation of science into law: default reasoning in international trade disputes Vern R. Walker; Part III. Public Infrastructure: 10. Politicizing Peer Review: the scientific perspective David Michaels; 11. Politicizing peer review: the legal perspective Sidney Shapiro; 12. The government role in scientific research John S. Applegate; Part IV. Recommendations and conclusion Wendy Wagner, J.D. and Rena Steinzor, J.D.
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