Copyright (c) 1995 New York University Law Review
New York University Law Review
NOTE: THE "BRAVE NEW WORLD"
OF DAUBERT: TRUE PEER REVIEW,
EDITORIAL PEER REVIEW,
AND SCIENTIFIC VALIDITY
70 N.Y.U.L. Rev. 100
Effie J. Chan
To question is to engage in the pursuit of science. Through questioning, testing, refuting, and expanding upon the stream of emerging scientific claims, scientists constantly redefine the outer boundaries of scientific knowledge. This process of collective scientific revision is known as "peer review," or, as defined by this Note, "true peer review." 1 True peer review - the collegial "review" of claims among peers in the scientific community - holds a time-honored and fundamental place in scientific progress. 2
This Note argues that true peer review also should take a central place in the "brave new world" 3 of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Daubert). 4 The Supreme Court's 1993 Daubert decision thrusts courts into the ambitious new territory of affirmatively screening proffers of scientific evidence for scientific validity under Federal Rule of Evidence 702. 5 Daubert embraces a fundamental truth about science: it is at heart a methodology, not an "encyclo- pedic body of knowledge about the universe." 6 The Daubert mandate requires that courts examine the scientific methodology behind proffered evidence, not the consensus of scientists behind the evidence. 7 To implement Daubert, courts must determine whether proffered evidence is "derived by the scientific method" and supported by scientific validation. 8 In short, Daubert's scientific validity inquiry 9 is an inquiry into true peer review.
The great challenge of Daubert is to find a way to locate Rule 702 scientific validity within the fluid process of true peer review ...
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