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The Center for Science in the Public Interest's

Fourth National


July 11, 2008

9 am - 5:30 pm

Ronald Reagan International Center

1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20004

7:45-9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Welcome: Michael Jacobson, Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest

9:05 a.m. Introduction: Merrill Goozner, Director, Integrity in Science Project, CSPI

9:10-9:40 a.m. Keynote Address: Representative Brad Miller, Chairman, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, House Committee on Science and Technology, on Preserving Scientific Integrity: The Role of Congressional Oversight

9:40-11:00 a.m. Plenary I: Beyond the Phony "Debate": Government Science and the Climate Crisis

Panelists will discuss the role of government science in addressing the climate crisis now that the debate over the reality of the crisis has largely been discredited. Speakers will also address unresolved questions in climate science, and the urgency of government-funded science to promote alternative energy sources in light of the national security concerns and the Peak Oil crisis.

Moderator: Sheldon Rampton, Research Director, Center for Media and Democracy


11:00-11:15 a.m. Break
Book signing with David Michaels, Director, Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy, author of "Doubt Is Their Product"

11:15-12:30 p.m
. Concurrent Breakout Sessions

A. Curbing Industry Influence over Regulatory Science
Panelists will discuss rules and regulations that inhibit government action to promote public health and a cleaner environment, from the Data Quality Act to undue Office of Management and Budget influence. It will also discuss rules governing collaborative industry-government partnerships.

Moderator: Reece Rushing, Director of Regulatory and Information Policy, Center for American Progress


B. Protecting Public Sector Scientists
Panelists will explore the adequacy of existing federal whistleblower protection regulations, and what can be done to improve them.

Moderator: Paul Thacker, Investigator, Senate Finance Committee.


  • Adam Finkel, Executive Director, Penn Program on Regulation, University of Pennsylvania Law School, former Administrator, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Tom Devine, Legal Director, Government Accountability Project
  • Francesca Grifo, Director, Scientific Integrity Program, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • William Hirzy, Executive Vice-President, National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 280, EPA Headquarters
  • Stuart Gerson, former head of Civil Division, U.S. Dept. of Justice

C. Reducing Conflicts of Interest on Federal Advisory Committees
How is the integrity of regulatory science impacted by the presence of conflicted scientists on agency advisory committees? Panelists will explore ways to reduce conflicts of interest on the more than 200 science-based federal advisory committees, and debate the desirability and possibility of their elimination.

Moderator: Alicia Mundy, reporter, The Wall Street Journal


  • Sidney Shapiro, Professor of Law, Wake Forest University and Scholar, Center for Progressive Reform
  • Barnett Kramer, Associate Director of Disease Prevention, former head of Office of Medical Applications of Research, National Institutes of Health
  • Dr. Anthony Maciorowski, Deputy Director, Scientific Advisory Board, Environmental Protection Agency
  • William McConagha, Assistant Commissioner for accountability and integrity, Food and Drug Administration
  • Diana Zuckerman, President, National Research Center for Women & Families

12:30-2:00 p.m. Lunch and speaker
Dr. James Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, on the "Threat to the Planet: The Dark and Bright Sides of Global Warming."

2:00-3:15 p.m. Plenary II: What Role for Industry? Setting the Comparative Effectiveness Agenda

Can better research lower health care spending? Sen. Barack Obama wants to create a new agency to compare the relative effectiveness of existing treatment options, and Sen. John McCain's chief health care adviser says a greater role for such studies is imperative. But who should conduct these studies? And who will set the new agency's agenda? Panelists will debate this major health care reform issue.

Moderator: Shannon Brownlee, author, "Overtreated," Senior Fellow, New America Foundation


3:15-3:30 p.m. Break

3:30-4:45 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions

A. The Energy Future: Whose Alternatives?
Panelists analyze the potential for "alternative technologies" to meet energy needs in a post-carbon economy, and discuss the industry interests promoting these alternatives.

Moderator:Henry Kelly, President, Federation of American Scientists.


B. Conservation in a Hostile Climate
Panelists discuss attempts by industry interests to dismantle environmental and species protections, and the shifting mandates of federal agencies entrusted with conservation of the natural world.

Moderator: Steve Davies, editor, Endangered Species and Wetlands Report


C. A Common Standard for Journals' Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Panelists will discuss the need for a common standard governing conflict of interest disclosure in science and medical journals, and what ought to go into one.

Moderator: Merrill Goozner, Director, Integrity in Science, Center for Science in the Public Interest

  • Thomas Babor, Associate Editor-in-Chief, Addiction
  • Hugh A. Tilson, Editor-in-Chief, Environmental Health Perspectives
  • Sheldon Krimsky, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy, Tufts University
  • Jeremy Theobald, Chairman, Committee on Publication Ethics

4:45-5:15 p.m. Final Plenary Speaker
Introduction: Kirsten Stade, Program Manager, Integrity in Science, Center for Science in the Public Interest

Speaker: David Michaels, Director, Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy, author of "Doubt Is Their Product"
"A Sarbanes-Oxley for Science"

5:15 p.m. Concluding Remarks: Merrill Goozner, Director, Integrity in Science, Center for Science in the Public Interest

Conference co-sponsors include:

Beyond Nuclear
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
Center for Progressive Reform
Climate Science Watch (GAP)
Edmonds Institute
Endangered Species Coalition
Environmental News Network
Government Accountability Project
Mother Jones
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
OMB Watch
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
The Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy
Union of Concerned Scientists


July 24, 2006, Washington, D.C.
Mini Conference: Government Advisory Panels: Fair and Balanced?

July 12, 2004, Washington, D.C.

July 22, 2003, Washington, D.C.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a nonprofit health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on nutrition, food safety, and sound science. CSPI is supported largely by the 900,000 U.S. and Canadian subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter and by foundation grants.