Bearing witness

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Science  25 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6425, pp. 334-337
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6425.334

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Brown University physician David Egilman is a courtroom warrior with a cause. In 35 years as an expert witness, he has given depositions and testimony in more than 600 cases of occupational or environmental disease, including claims against makers of drugs, medical devices, and, recently, baby powder, and helped win billions of dollars in compensation. His detractors say he stretches science in favor of advocacy. But Egilman believes corporations have minimized their costs at the expense of public health. He also says corporate money and power have intimidated scientists and corrupted science itself—a concern that has led him into battle with journals that publish what he describes as tainted results.

  • * Douglas Starr co-directs Boston University's science journalism program.