Defending Consultants

Your article "Science for Sale" (November 28, 1988, page 1) suffered from the very symptoms that the author, Bruce Stutz, attributes to his subjects, "biostitutes." To begin with, my firm was incorrectly characterized as "also doing public relations work for the incinerator industry." We work for citizens advisory groups, public officials, and developers in evaluating or preparing environmental impact statements of projects of all kinds. Like the museum scientist quoted, our clients know we

Carolyn Konheim
Feb 19, 1989

Your article "Science for Sale" (November 28, 1988, page 1) suffered from the very symptoms that the author, Bruce Stutz, attributes to his subjects, "biostitutes."

To begin with, my firm was incorrectly characterized as "also doing public relations work for the incinerator industry." We work for citizens advisory groups, public officials, and developers in evaluating or preparing environmental impact statements of projects of all kinds. Like the museum scientist quoted, our clients know we "don't turn tricks."

It is absurd to distrust the science because a consultant authored an article in a professional journal. A good journal subjects all articles to equally rigorous peer review. The reason consultants often make important contributions to knowledge is that they are retained to solve problems. In doing so, they're often on the cutting edge of what is known and have to develop tools and solutions quickly. It is not that academic scientists are...

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