What is "scientific knowledge" and when is it reliable? These deceptively simple questions have been the source of endless controversy. In 1993, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling on the use of scientific evidence in federal courts. Federal judges may admit expert scientific evidence only if it merits the label "scientific knowledge." The testimony must be scientifically "reliable" and "valid."This book is organized around the criteria set out in the 1993 ruling. Following a general overview, the authors look at issues of fit--whether a plausible theory relates specific facts to the larger factual issues in contention; philosophical concepts such as the falsifiability of scientific claims; scientific error; reliability in science, particularly in fields such as epidemiology and toxicology; the meaning of "scientific validity"; peer review and the problem of boundary setting; and the risks of confusion and prejudice when presenting science to a jury.The book's conclusion attempts to reconcile the law's need for workable rules of evidence with the views of scientific validity and reliability that emerge from science and other disciplines.
About the Authors
Kenneth R. Foster is Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania.
Peter W. Huber is a Senior Fellow of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and serves as Counsel to the law firm of Mayer, Brown & Platt.
—Robert K. Adair, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Physics, Yale University
—Bert Black, Partner, Hughes & Luce, LLP
—Edward J. Imwinkelried, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis
—Joseph Sanders, A.A. White Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center
—W. Kip Viscusi, Cogan Professor of Law and Economics, Director on The Program on Empirical Legal Studies, Harvard Law School
—Francisco J. Ayala, Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine
—Alex Kozinski, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
—Rodney W. Nichols, President and Chief Executive Officer, New York Academy of Sciences