Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom / Edition 1

Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom / Edition 1

by Peter W. Huber
     
 

ISBN-10: 0465026249

ISBN-13: 2900465026240

Pub. Date: 03/28/1993

Publisher: Basic Books

"Expert" witnesses claim a luxury car accelerates when you step on the brake, though no defect is ever found. Whooping cough vaccine, said to cause brain damage and death, is almost removed from the market, though thirty years of epidemiological studies attest to its safety. Cerebral palsy cases, using electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) as evidence, flood the courts,…  See more details below

Overview

"Expert" witnesses claim a luxury car accelerates when you step on the brake, though no defect is ever found. Whooping cough vaccine, said to cause brain damage and death, is almost removed from the market, though thirty years of epidemiological studies attest to its safety. Cerebral palsy cases, using electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) as evidence, flood the courts, despite overwhelming proof that EFM does not reduce birth defects. Spurious claims such as these, backed by fringe eccentrics whose "research" has no standing in the scientific community, have resulted in astronomical judgments that have bankrupted companies, driven doctors out of practice, and deprived all of us of superior technologies and effective and life-saving therapies. Peter Huber, an M.I.T.-trained engineer and one of the country's leading experts on liability law, offers a scathing indictment of how legions of case-hardened lawyers have successfully shifted the law from the rule of fact, using professional "expert" witnesses to press unsubstantiated claims on the basis of what nobody but a lawyer would call science. In the let-it-all-in atmosphere of today's courtrooms, lawyers have set off in pursuit of scientific speculators, cranks, and iconoclasts. "One way to dishonor Galileo is to imprison him for heresy," Huber writes. "Another, quite as effective, is to teach his views side by side with those of astrologers and mystics." Galileo's Revenge documents this peculiarly American phenomenon, showing how ancient rules of evidence do not discriminate between serious science and junk.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900465026240
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
03/28/1993
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288

Table of Contents

Introduction1
Pt. IThe Lawyer and the Scientist Trade Places
Ch. 1Liability Science: Better Living Through Litigation9
Ch. 2The Science of Things That Aren't So: Junk Science and Its Origins24
Pt. IILaw and Pseudoscience
Ch. 3The Midas Touch: How Money Causes Disease39
Ch. 4Sudden Acceleration: Runaway Panic in the Mass Media57
Ch. 5Gadgets and Knives: Cashing In on Magical Cures75
Ch. 6No Immunity: Chemicals Cause Everything92
Ch. 7Nausea: The Massed Legal Attack111
Ch. 8The Paranoia Plebiscite: The Legal Pursuit of Fad Terrors130
Ch. 9Harmonious Coupling: Ignoring the Environment148
Pt. IIIThe Rule of Fact
Ch. 10The Cargo Cult: Does Liability Science Work?171
Ch. 11Stopping Points: Confronting Malpractice on the Witness Stand192
Ch. 12Science and Certitude214
Notes229
Acknowledgments261
Index263

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