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

Economist Adam Smith Knew A Creep When He Saw One

by Henry I. Miller
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It is remarkable to see broad and bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate come together to pass this GMO disclosure legislation.

Analysis and Commentary

What’s In A Name? Plenty, If It’s A ‘GMO.’

by Henry I. Millervia National Review
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

'Genetically modified organism’ is a meaningless category.


Tackling Rare And Orphan Diseases

by Henry I. Millervia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rare diseases are commonly neglected, simply because they are, well, rare. In the aggregate, however, they affect huge numbers of people.

Analysis and Commentary

Lax FDA Oversight Of 'Compounded Drugs' Is A Matter Of Life And Death

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Monday, July 18, 2016

People naturally assume that the medicines prescribed by doctors are tightly regulated and have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but that’s not true.

Analysis and Commentary

The Kismet Of Basic Science

by Henry I. Millervia Project Syndicate
Friday, July 15, 2016

The British journalist Matt Ridley is usually an insightful commenter on the philosophy and practice of science. But his assessment of the relationship between basic research and technological innovation – in short, that “‘basic science’ isn’t nearly as productive of new inventions as we tend to think”– misses the mark.

Analysis and Commentary

Obama’s Dysfunctional ‘Cancer Moonshot’

by Henry I. Millervia National Review
Thursday, July 14, 2016

The FDA is impeding promising research and techniques such as ‘biopharming.’ 


It's Important To Know How Your Emotions Influence Risk Perception

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Science applied to risks–of products, processes or activities–can be baffling to non-experts. Because people want certainty in their lives, the provisional nature of the scientific method–what we “know” only applies until disproven by new data–can be worrying.

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Hope for Stolen Lives

by Henry I. Millervia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 11, 2016

For families struggling with rare diseases, bureaucracy is in some ways a tougher enemy than the diseases themselves. How to change that.

Analysis and Commentary

We Are Endangered By Drug Shortages--And The FDA Shares The Blame

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Many critical, widely-used medicines--especially sterile injectables--are in short supply. Federal policies and actions are partly to blame.

Analysis and Commentary

Greenpeace Is More Dishonest And Dangerous Than The Mafia

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Thursday, June 30, 2016

I grew up in a Philadelphia neighborhood heavily influenced by the Mafia. My best friend sold football pools for the mob family of “The Gentle Don,” Angelo Bruno, and my walk to high school took me past his house, where there were often federal agents parked outside, noting who came and went.