Kenneth R. Foster

Kenneth R. Foster is Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Judging Science

    Judging Science

    Scientific Knowledge and the Federal Courts

    Kenneth R. Foster and Peter W. Huber

    Attempting to reconcile the law's need for workable rules of evidence with the views of scientific validity and reliability.

    What is "scientific knowledge" and when is it reliable? These deceptively simple questions have been the source of endless controversy. In 1993, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling on the use of scientific evidence in federal courts. Federal judges may admit expert scientific evidence only if it merits the label "scientific knowledge." The testimony must be scientifically "reliable" and "valid." This book is organized around the criteria set out in the 1993 ruling. Following a general overview, the authors look at issues of fit—whether a plausible theory relates specific facts to the larger factual issues in contention; philosophical concepts such as the falsifiability of scientific claims; scientific error; reliability in science, particularly in fields such as epidemiology and toxicology; the meaning of "scientific validity"; peer review and the problem of boundary setting; and the risks of confusion and prejudice when presenting science to a jury. The book's conclusion attempts to reconcile the law's need for workable rules of evidence with the views of scientific validity and reliability that emerge from science and other disciplines.

    • Hardcover $75.00
    • Paperback $35.00
  • Phantom Risk

    Phantom Risk

    Scientific Inference and the Law

    Kenneth R. Foster, David E. Bernstein, and Peter W. Huber

    Phantom risks are risks whose very existence is unproven and perhaps unprovable, yet they raise real problems at the interface of science and the law. Phantom Risk surveys a dozen scientific issues that have led to public controversy and litigation - among them, miscarriage from the use of video display terminals, birth defects in children whose mothers used the drug Bendectin, and cancer from low-intensity magnetic fields, and from airborne asbestos. It presents the scientific evidence behind these and other issues and summarizes the resulting litigation. Focusing on the great disparity between the scientific evidence that is sufficient to arouse public fears and that needed to establish a hazard or its absence, these original contributions probe the problem of scientific ambiguity in risk assessment, and the mayhem this creates in the courtroom. Although the authors are clearly optimistic about the use of science to detect and evaluate risks, they recognize the difficulty of inferring cause-and-effect relationships from epidemiological (observational) evidence and of inferring risks to humans from high-dose animal experiments, the two major sources of evidence. The final chapter reviews the exceptionally difficult problem of how the legal impact of disputes about phantom risks can be reduced.

    • Hardcover $85.00
    • Paperback $36.00


  • Neuroethics


    An Introduction with Readings

    Martha J. Farah

    Explores the ethical, legal, and societal issues arising from brain imaging, psychopharmacology, and other new developments in neuroscience.

    Neuroscience increasingly allows us to explain, predict, and even control aspects of human behavior. The ethical issues that arise from these developments extend beyond the boundaries of conventional bioethics into philosophy of mind, psychology, theology, public policy, and the law. This broader set of concerns is the subject matter of neuroethics. In this book, leading neuroscientist Martha Farah introduces the reader to the key issues of neuroethics, placing them in scientific and cultural context and presenting a carefully chosen set of essays, articles, and excerpts from longer works that explore specific problems in neuroethics from the perspectives of a diverse set of authors. Included are writings by such leading scientists, philosophers, and legal scholars as Carl Elliot, Joshua Greene, Steven Hyman, Peter Kramer, and Elizabeth Phelps. Topics include the ethical dilemmas of cognitive enhancement; issues of personality, memory and identity; the ability of brain imaging to both persuade and reveal; the legal implications of neuroscience; and the many ways in which neuroscience challenges our conception of what it means to be a person.

    Neuroethics is an essential guide to the most intellectually challenging and socially significant issues at the interface of neuroscience and society. Farah's clear writing and well-chosen readings will be appreciated by scientist and humanist alike, and the inclusion of questions for discussion in each section makes the book suitable for classroom use.

    Contributors Zenab Amin, Ofek Bar-Ilan, Richard G. Boire, Philip Campbell, Turhan Canli, Jonathan Cohen, Robert Cook-Degan, Lawrence H. Diller, Carl Elliott, Martha J. Farah, Rod Flower, Kenneth R. Foster, Howard Gardner, Michael Gazzaniga, Jeremy R. Gray, Henry Greely, Joshua Greene, John Harris, Andrea S. Heberlein, Steven E. Hyman, Judy Iles, Eric Kandel, Ronald C. Kessler, Patricia King, Adam J. Kolber, Peter D. Kramer, Daniel D. Langleben, Steven Laureys, Stephen J. Morse, Nancey Murphy, Eric Parens, Sidney Perkowitz, Elizabeth A. Phelps, President's Council on Bioethics, Eric Racine, Barbara Sahakian, Laura A. Thomas, Paul M. Thompson, Stacey A. Tovino, Paul Root Wolpe

    • Hardcover $70.00
    • Paperback $45.00