Henry I. Miller

Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy
Biography: 

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

The Anti-Science Seed Treaty

by Henry I. Miller, Drew L. Kershenvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

In September, the United States ratified the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, known as the International Seed Treaty. Like so many international agreements crafted under the auspices of the United Nations, it is severely flawed. Indeed, the Seed Treaty is a politically correct, anti-technology fiasco.

Analysis and Commentary

This Could Be The Moment For Rolling Back Regulators' 'Soft Despotism'

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bill McGurn in a recent Wall Street Journal column condemned the “soft despotism” in our government that has been created by “the unelected and increasingly assertive class that populates our federal bureaucracies and substitutes rule by regulation for the rule of law.” 

Analysis and Commentary

FDA’s Committees Provide Political Cover

by Henry I. Millervia The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

[Subscription Required] Today, advisory committee meetings are held often when the FDA wants to political cover for a decision that has already been made.

Analysis and Commentary

As Americans’ Life Expectancy Drops, We Need More Medical Innovation

by Henry I. Millervia National Review
Monday, January 9, 2017

Americans’ life expectancy has dropped, but technology and laws to encourage innovation can help.

Analysis and Commentary

The FDA’s Dr. Nos

by John Cohrssen, Henry I. Millervia Cato Institute
Thursday, January 5, 2017

The agency’s fear of Type II errors inhibits drug development and harms patients.

Analysis and Commentary

Rachel Carson's 'Heedless And Destructive Acts'

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Environmental activists gathered last month in Washington DC to celebrate the legacy of the late author Rachel Carson, who gained fame for her book, “Silent Spring.” They’d have done better to pick up trash at a local park. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Dr. Angela Logomasini wrote:...

Analysis and Commentary

Over-Regulating Things Like Asbestos Is Counter Productive

by Henry I. Millervia San Jose Mercury News
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Several years ago I participated in a colloquium whose title was something like “Advancing Technology: Thinking Outside the Box.” The presentations ranged from the ever-more imaginative uses of robots (fascinating) to irrigating the Sahara Desert for growing crops that by mid-century could sustain the planet’s burgeoning population (unconvincing).

Analysis and Commentary

Desperately Seeking A New FDA Commissioner, A Critical Presidential Appointment

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

In the Trump administration, we can expect a new head of the FDA, one of the 4,000 or so political appointees. The post of FDA Commissioner is one of the most important in the government because the FDA regulates products worth more than $1 trillion, 25 cents of every consumer dollar.

Analysis and Commentary

Time To Get Rid Of The EPA? Scott Pruitt May Be Just The Guy To Do It

by Henry I. Millervia National Review
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Trump’s nominee for the EPA Administrator could — and should — abolish the agency.

Analysis and Commentary

We Can Reduce Government Waste, Fraud And Abuse--Just By Not Being Stupid

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Charlie Munger, financial wizard and vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, once remarked to me, “Warren [Buffett] and I made a lot of money just by not being stupid.” I can’t think of a better strategy for reducing waste and abuse in government. President-elect Trump, take notice.

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