Saturday, October 28, 2006

Allan Kanner on Daubert

Allan Kanner has issued a paper on Daubert, available through the Berkeley Electronic Press. Titled "Daubert and the Disappearing Jury Trial," the paper takes a fairly standard plaintiff-lawyer line. It is sure to please the anti-Daubert faction and to annoy the "reformers."

Update 11/3/06: We've fixed the bad link to the paper.

New Blog on Scientific Evidence

We're still recovering from some rather severe technical problems. In the interim, readers may want to take a look at a new blog on scientific evidence. Aptly entitled Science Evidence, the blog is maintained by Cliff Hutchinson, a partner at Hughes & Luce, LLP.

Friday, October 20, 2006


We have been experiencing technical difficulties, for which we extend our heartfelt thanks to Michael Dell.

We'll be up and running again soon.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Symposium on "Sequestered Science"

The Summer 2006 issue of Law & Contemporary Problems is devoted to papers from a symposium on "sequestered science" sponsored by the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy (a.k.a. SKAPP). Topics range from protective orders and confidential settlements that restrict disclosure of information bearing on public health, to access to data from the FDA approval process. We haven't read the entire collection yet, but the contributors seem to avoid simplistic, pro-disclosure polemic, in favor of a more measured analysis of the policies implicated when scientific data and information are withheld from public view.

These are important papers on an important subject. The epistemic legitimacy of scientific work is closely tied to prevalent levels of transparency and openness in scientific discourse, which legal and institutional forces can promote or thwart.

For more, see SKAPP's news release.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Peer Review in the Internet Age

From a story by AP science writer Alicia Chang, via ABC News:
Scientists frustrated by the iron grip that academic journals hold over their research can now pursue another path to fame by taking their research straight to the public online.

Instead of having a group of hand-picked scholars review research in secret before publication, a growing number of Internet-based journals are publishing studies with little or no scrutiny by the authors' peers. It's then up to rank-and-file researchers to debate the value of the work in cyberspace.

The Web journals are threatening to turn on its head the traditional peer-review system that for decades has been the established way to pick apart research before it's made public.

Next month, the San Francisco-based nonprofit Public Library of Science will launch its first open peer-reviewed journal called PLoS ONE, focusing on science and medicine. Like its sister publications, it will make research articles available for free online by charging authors to publish.

But unlike articles in other PLoS journals that undergo rigorous peer review, manuscripts in PLoS ONE are posted for the world to dissect after an editor gives them just a cursory look.
A PLoS ONE web page is already up.

A similar venture is also underway at
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.