David Michaels

David Michaels, PhD, MPH, directs the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy and is Professor and Interim Chairman of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

Nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the US Senate, Dr. Michaels served as the Department of Energy's Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Health from 1998 through January 2001. In this position, he had primary responsibility for protecting the health and safety of workers, the neighboring communities and the environment surrounding the nation's nuclear weapons facilities.

Dr. Michaels was the chief architect of the historic initiative to compensate workers in the nuclear weapons complex who developed cancer or lung disease as a result of exposure to radiation, beryllium and other hazards. Since its enactment in 2000, The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act has provided more than $1 billion in benefits to sick workers and their families. He also oversaw promulgation of two major public rules: Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention (10 CFR 850) and Nuclear Safety Management (10 CFR 830).

In February 2006, Dr. Michaels received the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award for his work on behalf of nuclear weapons workers and for his advocacy for scientific integrity. He is also the recipient of the American Public Health Association's David P. Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health, and the US Department of Energy's Meritorious Service Award. Dr. Michaels is an epidemiologist. His first book is Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health (Oxford University Press, 2008). His other publications include:

  • Michaels D and C Monforton. Beryllium’s Public Relations Problem: Protecting Workers When There Is No Safe Exposure Level. Public Health Rep 2008 January-February; 123:79-88.
  • Michaels D, C Monforton, and P Lurie. Selected Science: An Industry Campaign to Undermine an OSHA Hexavalent Chromium Standard. Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source 2006, 5:5.
  • Michaels D. Doubt is Their Product. Scientific American 2005;292(6):96-101.
  • Michaels D. Scientific Evidence and Public Policy. (Editorial) Amer J Public Health 2005;95:Suppl1:S5.
  • Michaels D and C Monforton. Scientific Evidence and the Regulatory System: Manufacturing Uncertainty and the Demise of the Formal Regulatory System. J Law and Policy. 2005; XIII (1): 17-41.
  • Michaels D, Wagner W.  Disclosure in Regulatory Science. Science 2003; 302:2073
  • Michaels D, Bingham E, Boden L, et al. Advice without Dissent.  Science 2002;298:703.

A complete list of his writings on science and public policy includes articles in scientific journals, opinion pieces, and Congressional testimony.