Scientific Inference in the Laboratory and the Law
American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 95, No. S1, pp. S121-S128, 2005
8 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2005
Following the Supreme Court's Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical, Inc. decision, courts have struggled in reviewing scientific evidence and appear to have appreciated insufficiently the nature of scientific reasoning. To assist their evidentiary reviews, courts need to appreciate both scientific complexity and ignorance about human toxicity caused by the universe of chemical substances. Conscientious, well-motivated, respectable experts can come to different conclusions about scientific evidence without making obvious mistakes and without being charlatans. So that justice is done between parties, courts need to allow for reasonable scientific disagreement to avoid excluding from trials respectable experts and all relevant scientific evidence. The public health community can assist courts to understand ranges of scientific evidence and to recognize the reasonableness of scientific disagreements.
Keywords: Scientific evidence, Expert testimony, Daubert
JEL Classification: K13, K23, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation