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

Analysis and Commentary

FDA's Demands And Delays Harm Desperate Patients

by Henry I. Miller, John Cohrssenvia Forbes
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Regulators sometimes respond positively to public pressure. During the height of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s, for example, the Food and Drug Administration came under fire and its headquarters was literally stormed by AIDS activists protesting regulators’ unwillingness to make new investigational drugs available to patients who had no alternative treatment.

Analysis and Commentary

GMO-Free Plan Lacks Any Sense

by Henry I. Miller, Andrew Seidenfeldvia Times Union (NY)
Thursday, October 13, 2016

[Subscription Required] Parents facing rising costs for new clothes, backpacks and school supplies could be in for an unwelcome surprise. If the New York State PTA gets its way, the cost of school lunches may rise by a lot — and become less nutritious to boot.

Al Gore? Get A Clue, Hillary!

by Henry I. Miller
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Al Gore has resurfaced, campaigning with Hillary Clinton in order to boost her environmental credentials–and offering an irresistible opportunity to return to that most soul-satisfying recreation of yesteryear: Gore-mockery. 

Analysis and Commentary

Is Whole Foods Channeling Tony Soprano?

by Henry I. Miller, Jeff Stiervia Forbes
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

In various episodes of “The Sopranos,” the head of the mob family, Tony Soprano, and his capos met for brainstorming sessions to air ideas for new scams and heists.

Analysis and Commentary

'Advocacy Research' Discredits Science And Aids Unprincipled Activism

by Henry I. Miller, Robert Wagervia Forbes
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The scientific research enterprise today is in something of a quandary. Various empirical studies show that 80-90% of the claims coming from scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals fail to replicate. (To simplify that statistic, that’s equivalent to only a 10-20%  success rate for recipes from a cookbook.)


The Poor Suffer Most From Runaway Regulation

by Henry I. Millerquoting John H. Cochrane , John B. Taylorvia The Hill
Sunday, October 2, 2016

Few Americans give much thought to the scope, magnitude, and impacts of regulation on their lives. They should. As economist John Taylor pointed out in a March working paper, the U.S. productivity growth rate had been negative for three consecutive quarters in a row and was -0.4 percent over the previous year. Such trends, he believes, may portend a period of declining income growth and lower standards of living.

Analysis and Commentary

Mark Bittman's Factually Challenged Column On GMOs In The New York Times

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mark Bittman, the former New York Times food writer and food company executive manqué, is baaaaack–with a Times op-ed titled,“GMO Labeling Law Could Stir a Revolution.” And although he’s now an outside contributor, the editors and fact-checkers at the paper seem to have given him a bye.

Analysis and Commentary

A Zika Vaccine Poses A Number Of Problems

by Henry I. Millervia The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

[Subscription Required] A vaccine designed to protect patients against Zika could inadvertently provoke more cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Analysis and Commentary

Federal Agencies’ Rampant Incompetence Fuels Zika Outbreak

by Henry I. Millervia National Review
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Red tape and waiting periods can be waived if the need is urgent enough.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Are The Feds Blocking Technologies To Control The Mosquitoes That Spread Zika Virus?

by John Cohrssen, Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Zika virus infections, which in recent months have swept through South and Central America and the Caribbean, are typically mild and often go undetected, but infection can cause severe birth defects early in pregnancy and subtler ones later. It can also cause a progressive, usually temporary, paralysis called Guillain-Barré syndrome.