A little bragging is in order this morning. Last week, CPR Member Scholars Tom McGarity and Wendy Wagner won the University of Texas’s Hamilton Book Author Award for their book, Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research. The award is given to the author(s) of what is judged the best book by University of Texas faculty in the previous year.
Published by Harvard University Press, Bending Science takes a hard look at the ways and extent to which scientific data are misused and abused in regulatory and tort law, focusing in on misdeeds by corporations, plaintiff attorneys, think tanks, and government agencies. Using case studies, the authors dissect the techniques by which perpetrators create research tailored to their commercial or political needs, conceal unwelcome data, spin public perception about matters of science, discredit legitimate but “inconvenient” research, and bully the scientists who produce it. McGarity and Wagner propose a series of reforms, as well, including forcing “bent” science into the sunlight and providing more vigorous oversight for the use of science in policymaking. The book was inspired in part by McGarity and Wagner’s participation in various “clean science” conversations at gatherings of CPR’s Member Scholars.
The award is sponsored by the University Co-operative Society and is considered the highest honor of literary achievement given to published authors at The University. McGarity is the immediate past President of the Center for Progressive Reform and the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law. Wagner is the Joe A. Worsham Centennial Professor in Law at The University of Texas at Austin.