Conversations with Scientists

The Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy (SKAPP) presents the following "conversations" with scientists to provide a personal perspective on the meaning of science and scientific information and its use and interpretation by decision-makers in courts and regulatory agencies. These scientists offer their views about scientific evidence and methods used for evaluating its quality, meaning, and application to policy decisions.

Douglas Dockery, ScD, MS. Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health. Douglas Dockery and his colleagues' Six Cities Study was an integral part of EPA's proposed changes to the National Air Quality Standards on particulate matter. Dr. Dockery reflects on his experience surrounding the intense scrutiny of his research and offers useful insights about the role of science in public policy. (updated 5/12/06)

Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH. Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, New York University. Dr. Nestle talks about her career, her perspective on the responsibilities of scientists in public policy, and her latest forays into the realm of "food politics." (updated 5/12/06)

Manolis Kogevinas, MD, PhD. Municipal Institute of Medical Research, Barcelona Spain. Dr. Manolis is a leading researcher on the health effects associated with dioxin. He discusses his research and his views on the role of science in government decision-making in Europe and the US. (updated 5/12/06)

RELATED PROGRAM: SKAPP's Scientists in Government Project is a two-year project whose goal is to promote and shape the public discussion about the rights and responsibilities of government scientists, as part of the larger effort to ensure that government uses the best science to protect and promote the health and well-being of Americans. In order to achieve this goal, we will collect and analyze data on the role and functioning of scientists employed by government agencies; produce a series of reports and policy proposals for future policymakers and government leaders; and communicate the findings and proposals in a manner that facilitates their use by policymakers.