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

March For Science, Or Against Republican Politicians?

by Henry I. Miller, Julie Kellyvia Forbes
Thursday, April 20, 2017

The April 22 March for Science, focused on Washington, D.C., but accompanied by some 400 complementary events worldwide, promises to be a motley affair. According to one of the young scientist-organizers, it is intended to help inexperienced science advocates develop the skills they need “to make their concerns heard” and to “have an effect on politics,” while maintaining a nonpartisan atmosphere.

Analysis and Commentary

Dermatology Is More Than Skin Deep: What You Need To Know About Your Body's Largest Organ

by Renata H. Mullen, Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Dermatology, the study of diseases of the skin—the human body’s largest organ--is both misunderstood and underrated. Even some physicians in other specialties think it’s “easy,” or borders on the trivial, but skin diseases are important because they are common, impose a huge economic and psychological burden on patients, and can be deadly.

Analysis and Commentary

Will United Airlines Mend Its Ways? When Pigs Can Fly

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Whenever I’m complaining bitterly to somebody about my air travel experiences, it’s remarkable how often the person will say, “Sounds like United.” Bingo!  

Analysis and Commentary

Response To Gould Et Al. And Vincelli Et Al.

by L Val Giddings, Henry I. Millervia Nature
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

We do not dispute that many of the salient conclusions of the May US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report were correct; but most were substantially equivalent to the crisper and more useful formulations in the NAS and US National Research Council (NRC) analyses of 1987 and 1989, respectively.

Analysis and Commentary

Congress's Secret Weapon Is Already Achieving Regulatory Reform

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The economic burden of America's accumulating mountain of regulatory requirements is almost unimaginable. According to a study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University that used a 22-industry data set covering the years from 1977 through 2012, by distorting the investment choices that lead to innovation, regulation has created a considerable drag on the economy that amounts to an average reduction in the annual growth rate of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.8 percent. 

Analysis and Commentary

Organic Labeling Program Should Be Plowed Under

by Julie Kelly, Henry I. Millervia San Diego Union-Tribune
Saturday, April 1, 2017

The “skinny” budget proposed by the White House a few weeks ago will undergo significant changes as it wends its way through the maze of congressional committees, but it’s clear that the president and his economic advisers really do want to take a scalpel to programs that are marked by waste, fraud and abuse.

Analysis and Commentary

How Regulations Block Economic Progress

by Henry I. Millervia Learn Liberty
Monday, March 27, 2017

Let’s stop stopping economic progress.

Analysis and Commentary

Congress Can Make Regulators Accountable

by Henry I. Miller, Jeff Stiervia National Review
Thursday, March 23, 2017

And the FDA would be a good place to start.


Cancer Prevention, Occurrence And Treatment: A Game Of Probabilities

by Joel E. Tepper, Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"The Prevent-Cancer Diet!” “A New Molecular Target for Treating Pancreatic Cancer!” We are constantly bombarded with media announcements of miraculous breakthroughs, giving the false impression that cancer is well on the way to being eliminated as a serious threat, but non-experts–including most reporters–often fail to understand that the improvements are not like the Salk polio vaccine virtually wiping out a dread disease almost overnight.

Analysis and Commentary

On ‘Right To Try,’ The FDA Should Proceed With Caution

by Henry I. Millervia Wall Street Journal
Monday, March 13, 2017

More access to unapproved drugs could be good policy, but there are risks even to terminal patients.