Special Report: Epidemiology--its uses and misinterpretations
Perhaps the fundamental irony of the Daubert and related decisions is that non scientists have been put in charge of maintaining high scientific standards of testimony and evidence in Federal Court, and yet these non scientists (the judges) have had no formal training in science, are not required to take any course work or consult any sources and there is no systematic evaluation of how well each judge is doing or how consistently opinions are being handed down from judge to judge. Appeals of decisions is based on an abuse of descretion standard, which means that unless there is obvious error, a judge's decision is not considered de novo. Instead, the interpetation of the rather broad Daubert/Joiner/Kuhmo standards are let stand.
This section provides a source of talks given at a recent seminar that considered these issues among scientists and legal experts, and also two National Academy of Science papers devoted to this issue. Toxicologysource provides its own analysis and explanation of what came out of these talks and papers and also it's own interpretation of the issues.
Not surprisingly, like the scientific process itself, we believe that continued and increasing discussion of these issues brings us closer to an accurate assessment of what is going on and the best way to improve the process.