PUBLISHED:September 25, 2008

Lessons Learned series continues: The Bush Administration and Science

Sept. 25, 2008 — The Program in Public Law continues its semester-long examination of key legal and constitutional policy issues that have arisen during the Bush administration on Oct. 7, with a consideration of the administration’s approach to environmental policymaking and regulatory science.

This event will begin at 12:15 p.m. in room 3041 of Duke Law School. A light lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sidney Shapiro, Associate Dean for Research and Development and University Distinguished Chair in Law at Wake Forest University, will discuss the importance of promoting science undistorted from political considerations in environmental policymaking, in particular. His lecture will focus on the institutional arrangements currently used to reduce the role of politics in regulatory science, assess the success or failure of these protections in the administration of George W. Bush, and consider the implications of this failure for protecting people and the environment in the future.

One of the country’s leading experts in administrative procedure and regulatory policy, Shapiro has been a consultant to government agencies and has testified before Congress on regulatory subjects. He is the vice president of the Center for Progressive Regulation, a nonprofit research and educational organization of university-affiliated academics and is currently working on a book on administrative accountability.

The “Lessons Learned” series of public lectures features a roster of distinguished scholars, each of whom will address a specific topic, gauging significant issues and priorities that lie ahead, and suggesting ways in which the country ought to build on the experiences of the last eight years.

“Presidents and their administrations exert great influence over the country’s public policy agenda, including over matters of legal and constitutional policy,” says Christopher Schroeder, Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law and Public Policy Studies and director of the Program in Public Law. “In discharging their constitutional responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution, presidents must also interpret the Constitution, and those interpretations then shape our on-going national conversation over its meaning, as well the content of cases that come before the Supreme Court. Furthermore, one of a president’s greatest legacies comes from the judges and justices he or she nominates to the federal bench, whose terms of office far outlive the president’s own.” In addition to the courts, topics to be addressed in the series are voting rights, science, civil rights, executive power, international law, and gender and reproductive rights.

A full schedule of the lectures in the Lessons Learned series can be downloaded here. For more information about the Oct. 7 event, contact Frances Presma at (919) 613-7248.