15 Va. J.L. & Tech. 1 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/vjolt15 and id is 1 raw text is: VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF LAW & TECHNOLOGY
SPRING 2010                  UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA                   VOL. 15, No. 1
Science Court: Past Proposals, Current
Considerations, and a Suggested Structure
ANDREW W. JURSt
ABSTRACT
The improper bending of scientific opinion by outside influences
has been a concern of scholars and commentators for decades.
The interference of outside influences with scientific analysis
pushed Arthur Kantrowitz in 1967 to propose a procedure for
making scientific assessment by non-scientists more objective. The
perception of increasing partisan influence in the mid-1970's led to
a vigorous public debate of the Kantrowitz proposal. A critical
question of that debate is equally important for the current judicial
system: how long will we tolerate the partisan exploitation of
scientific uncertainty?
This Article reviews Kantrowitz's proposal, analyzes its criticisms,
and discusses how it ultimately failed to change scientific evaluation
methodology. After assessing legal changes that have occurred
since Kantrowitz's proposal, this Article proposes Congress should
create a centralized Court of Scientific Jurisdiction to handle
complex science and technology cases.
Ultimately, this Article shows that by incorporating expertise into
the judiciary, the Court of Scientific Jurisdiction could objectively
assess scientific and technological evidence, resulting in more
reliable, predictable, and scientifically valid outcomes, without
sacrificing due process and fairness.
D 2010 Virginia Journal of Law & Technology Association, at http://www.vjolt.net.
T Assistant Professor of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law, 2009-present; Visiting Assistant
Professor of Law, Wake Forest University, 2008-2009; J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of
Law (Boalt Hall); B.A., Stanford University. The author wishes to thank Aaron Bachmann for comments
on an earlier version of this Article. Thanks also to Katie, Clara, and Milo, without whom this paper would
not have been possible.

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