News & CommentScience and the Law

New York Courts Seek `Neutral' Experts

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Science  12 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5259, pp. 189
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5259.189


In an effort to provide an impartial source of scientific advice on a flood of suits involving alleged health effects from silicone breast implants, three New York courts have established a three-person panel of scientists. Their role will be to recruit other impartial experts to help judges weigh the admissibility of scientific evidence. Although judges have had the power to appoint such panels since the 1970s, few have done so. Some observers think this could be the wave of the future for scientifically complex legal issues.