Hoover Daily Report

Letter: 'Peer Review' Doesn't Mean What You Think It Does

via Wall Street Journal
Thursday, January 2, 2014

The EPA's tendency to distort science to fit policy has long been criticized not only by outside scientific groups but also by its own extramural advisers. An expert panel commissioned by then-EPA administrator William Reilly reported in 1992 that: (a) "The science advice function—that is, the process of ensuring that policy decisions are informed by a clear understanding of the relevant science—is not well defined or coherently organized within EPA"; (b) "In many cases, appropriate science advice and information are not considered early or often enough in the decision-making process"; (c) Although "EPA should be a source of unbiased scientific information . . . EPA has not always ensured that contrasting, reputable scientific views are well-explored and well-documented." And most damning of all, that (d) "EPA science is perceived by many people, both inside and outside the Agency, to be adjusted to fit policy." Those people were—and are—right.>

During the more than two decades since that report, it appears that nothing has changed.

Henry I. Miller, M.D.

Hoover Institution

Stanford, Calif.