"Michael Crichton is a writer and filmmaker, best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of ER. His most recent novel, Next, about genetics and law, was published in December 2006.
"Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He has taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT. Crichton's 2004 bestseller, State of Fear, acknowledged the world was growing warmer, but challenged extreme anthropogenic warming scenarios. He predicted future warming at 0.8 degrees C. (His conclusions have been widely misstated.)"
-- From the Michael Crichton Official Site
"As some of you may know, I have spent the last several years exploring various environmental issues, particularly global warming. I have been deeply disturbed by what I have found, largely because the so-called evidence for so many environmental issues is often shockingly flawed and unsubstantiated.
"But more troubling, to me, is the degree to which the political process seems to have captured and often corrupted the integrity of the scientific research that is used to formulate policy, and inform policy decisions.
"I am also troubled by the insensible and distracting contentiousness that seems to inform so much of current political debate - especially when environmental issues are involved. As a result of this political friction - which is all heat and no light - policy is often established by way of litigation, rather than negotiation and legislation.
"From these observations, I conclude that as a society we lack the tools and methodologies we need to resolve thorny science-policy issues promptly, equitably and constructively.
"We're having this trouble because we have not developed mechanisms for decision-making that we all agree are fact-based and judicious; so that the results of such processes will be generally perceived to be fair and equitable.
"As a result, as I mentioned, we often resolve environmental disputes through litigation, which is neither good public policy nor a sound basis for administrative rule-making.
"So we ought to establish new mechanisms for determining social policy. And I believe that in the not too distant future, we will."
-- Excerpt from Science Policy in the 21st Century. January 25, 2005.
Science Policy in the 21st Century
Statement to U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works
Michael Crichton Official Site
Wikipedia Entry: Michael Crichton