2008 Thrower Symposium Speakers



David E. Adelman, Associate Professor of Law, Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona

David E. Adelman is an Associate Professor and Director of Law, Science & Technology Initiatives at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law.  He teaches and writes in the areas of environmental law, intellectual property law, and law & science.  Professor Adelman's research focuses on the many interfaces between law and science.  His articles have addressed topics ranging from the implications of emerging genomics technologies for environmental regulation, to the parallels between legal and scientific judgment, to the influence of the rapid rise in patenting during the 1990s on biotechnology innovation. Professor Adelman's articles have appeared in numerous books and journals, including the Harvard Environmental Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, and the Texas Law Review.

Professor Adelman holds a B.A. in chemistry and physics from Reed College, a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Stanford University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.  Professor Adelman clerked for the Honorable Samuel Conti of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  Prior to entering academia, he was an associate with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., where he litigated patent disputes and provided counsel on environmental regulatory matters, and a Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council in its Nuclear and Public Health programs.

Francesca Grifo, Senior Scientist and Director of Scientific Integrity Program, Union of Concerned Scientists  

As the Senior Scientist and Director of the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Dr. Grifo will act to mobilize scientists and citizens to defend the integrity of government science from political interference.  

Dr. Grifo came to UCS in 2005 from Columbia University where she directed the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation graduate policy workshop and ran the Science Teachers Environmental Education Program. Prior to that, she was director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation and a curator of the Hall of Biodiversity at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.   

Dr. Grifo edited and contributed to the books Biodiversity and Human Health and The Living Planet in Crisis; biodiversity science and policy. In addition to her scholarly work, Dr. Grifo was the manager of the International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups Program at the National Institutes of Health. She was also a senior program officer for Central and Eastern European for the Biodiversity Support Program, a consortium of the World Resources Institute, the Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund; and an AAAS Fellow in the Office of Research at the Agency for International Development.  

Francesca earned her PhD in botany from Cornell, and a BA in biology from Smith College.  She currently holds adjunct appointments at Columbia and Georgetown.

Lisa Heinzerling, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Lisa Heinzerling is Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center.  She received an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Law Review.  She clerked for Judge Richard A. Posner on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. on the United States Supreme Court.  She served as an assistant attorney general in Massachusetts, specializing in environmental law.  She has been a visiting professor at the Yale and Harvard law schools. In 2003, Heinzerling won Georgetown’s faculty teaching award.  She is a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, a think tank devoted to promoting the affirmative case for health, safety, and environmental protection.  She is the co-author of several books, including Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing (The New Press 2004) (with Frank Ackerman). She was the primary author of the briefs for Massachusetts and other petitioners in Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

Joni Hersch, Professor of Law and Economics, Vanderbilt Law School

Joni Hersch is Professor of Law and Economics at Vanderbilt University Law School, with secondary appointments in the Department of Economics and the Owen Graduate School of Management. Over the course of her career, Professor Hersch has published numerous articles in the leading economics journals on gender and race disparities in labor market outcomes, the economics of home production, law and economics, job risks, and product safety regulation. Her recent research examines discrimination on the basis of darker skin tone among immigrants and African Americans, tort liability litigation costs, and the private mortality costs to smokers. She is the author of Sex Discrimination in the Labor Market (Foundations and Trends in Microeconomics, 2006) and co-editor of Emerging Labor Market Institutions for the Twenty-First Century (University of Chicago, 2004). She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University.

Bobby McCormick, Professor and BB&T Scholar, John Walker Department of Economics, Clemson University

Bobby McCormick earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from Clemson University, 1972 and 1974, and his Ph.D in Economics from Texas A&M University in 1978, and from 1979-1982 he served as Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester. Beginning in 1982, McCormick was Associate and then Professor of Economics at Clemson. In 2000, McCormick was named BB&T Scholar and Director of the BB&T Center for Economic Education at Clemson. In 2002, he was recognized as Senior Fellow at Property Environment Economy Research Center in Bozeman, MT.

McCormick attended the Law and Economics Institute at the University of Miami in 1980. He was a Visiting Research Scholar at the Public Choice Institute at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the same year. McCormick was also Visiting Professor at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala in 1988 and 1990, and on several occasions at the Consortium International MBA in Asolo, Italy, most recently in 2004. He has been an instructor to attorneys at the Federal Trade Commission in 1982 and 1983. In 2001, he was the Julian Simon Research Fellow at the Property Environmental Research Center in Bozeman, Montana. From 2002-2005, McCormick was the Director of the Kinship Conservation Institute housed in Bozeman, MT. Starting in 2006 to the present, McCormick has been the Director of TEAM, a training program for environmental scientists and policy makers at PERC in Bozeman, MT.

McCormick’s primary teaching responsibilities are focused on economic theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels, antitrust, financial and managerial economics at both levels, sports and economics, environmental economics, and entrepreneurial economics. He has won several Clemson University teaching awards, The Prince Innovative Teacher of the Year (1998), the Alumni Professor of the Year (2000), the MBA Professor of the Year (several occasions), and the National Scholars Mentor Award (2004 and 2006).

McCormick has been a consultant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of the Treasury of New Zealand. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and the legislatures of several states. Further, he has prepared affidavits for the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Canadian Transport Act Review Panel. McCormick also consults with both small and large companies on corporate financial affairs, litigation matters, golf economics, entrepreneurship, organizational structure and architecture, business planning and development, and financial valuation. In addition, McCormick is also involved in a number of antitrust and corporate litigation matters.

Thomas O. McGarity, Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law, University of Texas School of Law

Thomas O. McGarity holds the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law at the University of Texas School of Law.  He has taught Environmental Law, Administrative Law and Torts at UT Law school since 1980.  Prior to that he taught at the University of Kansas School of Law.

After clerking for Judge William E. Doyle of the Federal Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado, Professor McGarity served as an attorney-advisor in the Office of General Counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.

Professor McGarity has written widely in the areas of Environmental Law and Administrative Law.  He has written two books on federal regulation.  Reinventing Rationality (1991) describes and critiques the implementation of regulatory analysis and regulatory review requirements that were put into place during the Carter and Reagan Administrations.  Workers at Risk (1993) (co-authored with Sidney Shapiro of the University of Kansas) describes and critiques the implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act during its first twenty years. A new book Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research (co-authored with his University of Texas colleague Wendy Wagner) will be published this spring by Harvard University Press.

Professor McGarity is President of the Center for Progressive Reform, a nonprofit organization consisting of scholars who are committed to developing and sharing knowledge and information, with the ultimate aim of preserving the fundamental value of the life and health of human beings and the natural environment.

Professor McGarity lives in Austin with his wife Cathleen. The eldest of their two daughters is an adjunct assistant professor of music at Montana State University.  Their younger daughter is an attorney in Washington, D.C.

Berrien Moore, University Distinguished Professor and Director, University of New Hampshire Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space

Berrien Moore III joined the University of New Hampshire (UNH) faculty in 1969, soon after receiving his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Virginia. A Professor of Systems Research, he received the University's 1993 Excellence in Research Award and was named University Distinguished Professor in 1997.  Professor Moore’s research focuses on the carbon cycle, global biogeochemical cycles, and global change as well as policy issues in the area of the global environment. Most recently he was awarded the 2007 Dryden Lectureship in Research by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

The Director of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) since 1987, he has simultaneously served on and chaired numerous government affiliated scientific committees (NASA/NOAA, The National Academies), including the NRC Committee on Global Change Research from 1995-1998 which produced the landmark report, “Global Environmental Change:  Research Pathways for the Next Decade.” Most recently he co-chaired the National Research Council's decadal survey, "Earth Observations from Space:  A Community Assessment and Strategy for the Future.”

His scientific committee service has spanned continents, including his 4-year tenure ('98-'02) as the Chair of the Science Committee of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and his service as lead author within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Third Annual Report (TAR) which was released in Spring 2001.  In July 2001 he chaired the Global Change Open Science Conference in Amsterdam and is one of the four architects of the Amsterdam Declaration on Global Change.Professor Moore’s current professional affiliations include the following:  Member, Board of Trustees, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR); Member, Advisory Council, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Max Planck-Institute for Meteorology, Munich, Germany; Member, National Academies’ Space Studies Board; Chair, Steering Committee, Global Terrestrial Observing System (United Nations Affiliate); Member, Board of Directors, University of New Hampshire Foundation; Member, Board of Trustees, Mount Washington Observatory, North Conway, NH; Member, Science Advisory Team-The National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS/NOAA).

Erin Murphy, Assistant Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law

Erin Murphy is an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley School of Law.  Before joining the faculty, she was a practicing attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she spent three years in the trial division and two years in the appellate division. While at PDS, she represented clients in felony and misdemeanor cases in jury and bench trials, and argued before the D.C. Court of Appeals. She also led a widely watched constitutional challenge to the District of Columbia’s firearms law, and acquired particular expertise in the scientific and legal issues surrounding the admissibility of various types of forensic evidence.  She is a graduate of the Harvard Law School, where she served as a notes editor for the Harvard Law Review, and a former clerk to Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  Her current research interests include the procedural and evidentiary issues raised by the use of technologies--such as DNA typing, biometrics, and data mining--in the criminal justice system.  Recent publications include “The New Forensics: Criminal Justice, False Certainty, and the Second Generation of Scientific Evidence” in the California Law Review and “Paradigms of Restraint,” forthcoming in the Duke Law Journal.

William H. Schlesinger, President, The Institute of Ecosystem Studies  

On 1 June 2007, William H. Schlesinger was named President of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies, a private ecological research institute on the grounds of the Cary Arboretum in Millbrook, NY.  He assumed this position after 27 years on the faculty of Duke University.  Completing his A.B. at Dartmouth (1972), and Ph.D. at Cornell (1976), he moved to Duke in 1980, where he retired in spring 2007 as Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences and as James B. Duke Professor of Biogeochemistry.   

He is the author or coauthor of over 180 scientific papers on subjects of environmental chemistry and global change and the widely-adopted textbook Biogeochemistry: An analysis of global change (Academic Press, 2nd ed. 1997).  He was among the first to quantify the amount of carbon held in soil organic matter globally, providing subsequent estimates of the role of soils and human impacts on forests and soils in global climate change.  

He was elected a member of The National Academy of Sciences in 2003, and was President of the Ecological Society of America for 2003-2004.  He is also a fellow in the American Geophysical Union and the Soil Science Society of America.  

His past work has taken him to diverse habitats, ranging from Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia to the Mojave Desert of California, and three times as a Duke alumni tour guide to Antarctica. His research has been featured on NOVA, CNN, NPR, and on the pages of Discover, National Geographic, The New York Times, and Scientific American.  Schlesinger has testified before U.S. House and Senate Committees on a variety of environmental issues, including preservation of desert habitats, global climate change and carbon sequestration.    

Schlesinger currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (New York) and the Southern Environmental Law Center (Charlottesville) and on the Board of Scientific Advisors for Terrapass LLC (San Francisco).  He is also a member of the selection advisory committee for the St. Andrews Prize for Environment, sponsored by Conoco-Phillips.   

He and his wife, Lisa, live in Millbrook, where they enjoy birdwatching, gourmet cooking, and collecting southwestern art.

Julie Seaman, Associate Professor, Emory School of Law

Julie Seaman is an Associate Professor at Emory Law School.  After receiving her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, Professor Seaman served as a law clerk for Judge Robert J. Ward in the Southern District of New York.  Her work addressed various issues at the intersection of law and science, in particular the relevance of findings in the fields of biology, psychology, and neuroscience to legal theory and doctrine.  Her recent publications include The Peahen’s Tale: or Dressing Our Parts at Work, 14 Duke J. Gender L. & Pol’y 423 (2007), which considers the theory of sexual selection in the context of gender-differentiated workplace grooming rules, and Triangulating Testimonial Hearsay: the Constitutional Boundaries of Expert Opinion Testimony (Georgetown L. J., forthcoming spring 2008), which addresses the respective roles of judge and jury in the context of expert witness testimony.  Professor Seaman’s current research examines the doctrine of judicial notice in the context of scientific and social scientific facts.

Dr. Michael Shermer, Founder of Skeptics Society  

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine (www.skeptic.com), the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and Adjunct Professor of Economics at Claremont Graduate University.  

Dr. Shermer’s latest book is The Mind of the Market, on evolutionary economics. His last book was Why Darwin Matters: Evolution and the Case Against Intelligent Design, and he is the author of Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown, about how the mind works and how thinking goes wrong. His book The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Share Care, and Follow the Golden Rule, is on the evolutionary origins of morality and how to be good without God. He wrote a biography, In Darwin’s Shadow, about the life and science of the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace. He also wrote The Borderlands of Science, about the fuzzy land between science and pseudoscience, and Denying History, on Holocaust denial and other forms of pseudohistory. His book How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God, presents his theory on the origins of religion and why people believe in God. He is also the author of Why People Believe Weird Things on pseudoscience, superstitions, and other confusions of our time.  

According to the late Stephen Jay Gould (from his Foreword to Why People Believe Weird Things): “Michael Shermer, as head of one of America’s leading skeptic organizations, and as a powerful activist and essayist in the service of this operational form of reason, is an important figure in American public life.”  

Dr. Shermer received his B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University (1991). He was a college professor for 20 years (1979-1998), teaching psychology, evolution, and the history of science at Occidental College (1989-1998), California State University Los Angeles, and Glendale College. Since his creation of the Skeptics Society, Skeptic magazine, and the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, he has appeared on such shows as 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, Larry King Live, Tom Snyder, Donahue, Oprah, Lezza, Unsolved Mysteries, and other shows as a skeptic of weird and extraordinary claims, as well as interviews in countless documentaries aired on PBS, A&E, Discovery, The History Channel, The Science Channel, and The Learning Channel. Shermer was the co-host and co-producer of the 13-hour Family Channel television series, Exploring the Unknown.

Chilton Davis Varner, Partner, King & Spalding LLP, Atlanta, GA

Chilton Varner has 30 years of courtroom experience as a trial lawyer defending corporations in product liability, business torts, contract and other commercial disputes. She was identified by the National Law Journal as one of the country’s top ten women litigators in December 2001. She is the senior partner in a product liability practice that was selected by The American Lawyer in January, 2004 as one of the top three in the country and by Chambers in 2005 and 2006 as one of the top six. The International Who’s Who in Product Liability judged her the leading product liability practitioner in Georgia in 2005 and as one of fourteen "most highly regarded" product liability practitioners globally in 2006. She has served as trial and appellate counsel for a number of the country’s largest automotive, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. She is experienced in mass tort litigation, class actions and MDL litigation, including the complex issues of discovery, attorney-client privilege and Daubert challenges to expert testimony that accompany such suits. She was appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist to the Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee in 2004, where she has participated in the Committee’s recent drafting of amendments governing electronic discovery.  

Mrs. Varner has published on areas of interest in her practice, including:

-Varner, Devereaux and Bunn: "Update on Pre-Emption in Pharmaceutical Product Liability Cases," International Who’s Who of Product Liability Lawyers (2007).

-Varner, Devereaux, et al.: "Trends in U.S. Product Liability Litigation," PLC Cross-Border Life Sciences Handbook (2006-07).

-Varner: “Liability Issues with Papanicolaou Smears: A Defense Lawyer’s Perspective,” ARCHIVES of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine (1997).

-Varner and McGee: “Worth a Thousand Words: The admissibility of Day in the Life Videos,” ABA Tort and Insurance Law Journal (Fall 1999).

-Jones and Varner: “Direct Examination: Making the Facts Understandable,” Winning Strategies and Techniques for Civil Litigation (Lyons, ed.), Practising Law Institute, New York (1992).