Henry I. Miller

Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy

Henry I. Miller, MS, MD, is the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. His research focuses on public policy toward science and technology, encompassing a number of areas, including pharmaceutical development, genetic engineering in agriculture, models for regulatory reform, and the emergence of new viral diseases.

Miller served for fifteen years at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a number of posts. He was the medical reviewer for the first genetically engineered drugs to be evaluated by the FDA and thus instrumental in the rapid licensing of human insulin and human growth hormone. Thereafter, he was a special assistant to the FDA commissioner and the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology. During his government service, Miller participated frequently on various expert and policy panels as a representative of the FDA or the US government. As a government official, Miller received numerous awards and citations.

Since coming to the Hoover Institution, Miller has become well known not only for his contributions to scholarly journals but also for his articles and books that make science, medicine, and technology accessible. His work has been widely published in many languages. Monographs include Policy Controversy in Biotechnology: An Insider's View; To America's Health: A Model for Reform of the Food and Drug Administration; and The Frankenfood Myth: How Protest and Politics Threaten the Biotech Revolution. Barron's selected The Frankenfood Myth as one of the 25 Best Books of 2004. In addition, Miller has published extensively in a wide spectrum of scholarly journals and popular publications worldwide, including The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association, Science, the Nature family of journals, Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes, National Review, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Guardian, Defining Ideas, and the Financial Times. He is a regulator contributor to Forbes.com and frequently appears on the nationally syndicated radio programs of John Batchelor and Lars Larson.

Miller was selected by the editors of Nature Biotechnology as one of the people who had made the "most significant contributions" to biotechnology during the previous decade. He serves on numerous editorial boards.

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Recent Commentary


Gene Therapy For Cancer: Overregulation Will Delay Its Benefit To Patients

by Henry I. Millervia National Review
Friday, June 24, 2016

This technology should not face higher scrutiny than other, similar products.

Analysis and Commentary

In Defense Of Germ Line Gene Therapy

by Henry I. Millervia Project Syndicate
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Human gene therapy has been one of the most ambitious goals of biotechnology since the advent of molecular techniques for genetic modification in the 1970s. But it has also been highly controversial. With the technology now reaching a milestone, discussions about its applications have reached fever pitch.

Analysis and Commentary

'GMO' Regulation: After 30 Years, Let Science Finally Show The Way

by Henry I. Miller, John Cohrssenvia Forbes
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Regulations often evolve along with technology. When cars first were introduced in certain cities in the early 1900′s, policemen walked in front of them to ensure they didn’t injure anyone or anything. It soon became obvious that that precaution was both unnecessary and unworkable.

Analysis and Commentary

Synergy And Serendipity, Rather Than Planning, Often Spur Medical Breakthroughs

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Government-funded research runs the gamut from investigations of the most basic physical and biological processes to applied research on more immediate needs. 

Analysis and Commentary

Will Regulators Continue To Get Away With Murder?

by Henry I. Millervia National Review Online
Friday, June 3, 2016

Most Americans don’t think a lot about the scope, magnitude, and impacts of regulation on our lives. The FDA alone, for example, regulates products that account for more than a trillion dollars annually — 25 cents of every consumer dollar — and the Environmental Protection Agency micromanages the quality of the water in our lakes and streams and of the air in every breath we take. But the reassurance that regulation provides us also has costs, direct and indirect. Regulation that is wrong-headed or that merely fails to be cost-effective actually costs lives, so the number of lives saved or other benefits derived from government regulation should always be large enough to offset the costs. 

Analysis and Commentary

We Desperately Need Bioethicists...To Get Out Of The Way Of Gene Therapy

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Activist Marcy Darnovsky published an op-ed in April that was antagonistic toward new gene therapy interventions that soon may be used to treat some of the most grotesque genetic diseases imaginable. “The biological risks and ethical implications of reproductive gene editing would be unacceptable,” she concluded.

Analysis and Commentary

'GMO' Labeling: Good Intentions And Ignorance Can Yield Bad Outcomes

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Perhaps as part of its ongoing efforts to misinform its readers about genetic engineering, the New York Times on May 16 published yet another misguided and misleading article. The op-ed by Jason Kelly, the “co-founder and chief executive” of a wannabe-biotech company, no less, actually goes beyond misguided and misleading; it is extraordinarily stupid and counterproductive.

Analysis and Commentary

National Academy Of Sciences' 'GMO' Report Does Science No Favors

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The National Academy of Sciences provides “science-based advice on critical issues affecting the nation,” according to its website. Because its reports are often relied on by Congress and government agencies for formulating legislation and policy, it’s essential that they are of high quality.

Analysis and Commentary

Errors, Bias And Conflicts Of Interest Make UN Agency Contender For Worst Regulator Ever

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bias, conflicts of interest and scientific illiteracy have made things tough for science-based public policy in recent decades. Anti-vaccine activism and the boosters of organic agriculture come to mind.

Mark Bittman Eats His Words--And Chokes

by Julie Kelly, Henry I. Miller
Monday, May 16, 2016

What happens when a sanctimonious, know-nothing foodie who has made a career out of peddling false and misleading information about food production technologies and big agribusiness decides to cash in by exploiting his favorite food fads?