Being an Expert Witness as a Scientist is a Delicate Balance

Jane Hoppin (Project 1) and Jamie DeWitt (Project 2 and Admin Core) were interviewed about scientists potentially being expert witnesses.

Jane Hoppin pic
Jane Hoppin

For some scientists, the rewards simply aren’t worth the risks. Jane Hoppin, an epidemiologist at North Carolina State University who studies the health effects of chemical exposures, doesn’t work for litigants because it might prevent her from serving on government advisory panels. “If you take money from anybody besides the university or the federal government, basically you can’t play” because of concerns about conflicts of interest, she says.

Jamie DeWitt picture
Jamie DeWitt

Academic life does prepare a scientist for some aspects of litigation. “We’re used to having our science attacked,” says Jamie DeWitt, director of the Environmental Health Sciences Center at Oregon State University, and an experienced expert witness in cases involving per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, long-lasting chemicals used to make nonstick coatings and stain-resistant fabrics. Click HERE to read more.