chapter  Chapter 15
4 Pages

Pro-Industry Bias in Science

WithSamuel S. Epstein

Science is the most highly respected scientific journal in the United States, and as such is read worldwide not only by scientists but also by industrialists, policy-makers, trade unionists, and public health and other professionals who rely upon it as a source of objective and accurate information. The track record establishes that science has used its editorial columns as a bully pulpit to trivialize concerns on environmental pollution and occupational hazards, which are revealingly dismissed as “chemophobia.” An illustration of grave bias is an editorial by Dr. Philip Abelson, Science’s deputy director. Dr. Abelson charged that product liability suits are rendering US industry less competitive, have negatively affected medical practice, and constitute “a form of legalized extortion.” The insurance industry is charged with manufacturing the “liability crisis” by conspiring to deny insurance in order to raise rates and coerce the public to accept unconscionable limitations in their coverage.