Huber, Peter W. 1952–

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Huber, Peter W. 1952–

(Peter William Huber)


Born November 3, 1952, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; immigrated to United States, 1970, naturalized citizen, 1985; son of Theodore and Dorothy Huber; married Andrea Grodsky (a dance critic), July 21, 1982; children: Sophie Anne, Michael Joseph, Stephen Anthony. Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, S.B. and S.M., 1974, Ph.D., 1976; Harvard University, J.D. (summa cum laude), 1982.


Home—5029 Edgemoor Ln., Bethesda, MD 20814. Office—Manhattan Institute, 52 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, NY 10017. E-mail—[email protected].


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, assistant professor, 1976-78, associate professor of mechanical engineering, 1978-83, Carl Richard Soderberg Associate Professor, 1980-82; U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, Washington, DC, law clerk to Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 1982-83; U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, DC, law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, 1983-84; Onek, Klein & Farr (law firm), Washington, DC, associate, 1985; Science Concepts, Inc., Washington, DC, senior associate, 1985—; Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, New York, NY, senior fellow, 1985—; private practice of law in Washington, DC, beginning in 1985; Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd & Evans (law firm), partner; Telecom Policy and Analysis: A Kellogg, Huber Consulting Group, chair. Consultant to Antitrust Division of U.S. Department of Justice; consultant in engineering, telecommunications, and liability; Digital Power Capital, Washington, DC, cofounding partner; ICx Technologies, cofounder and chief technology advisor. Appeared on television programs, including McNeil-Lehrer News Hour and Face the Nation.


American Nuclear Society, Society for Risk Analysis, Pi Tau Sigma.


The Geodesic Network, U.S. Department of Justice (Washington, DC), 1987.

Liability: The Legal Revolution and Its Consequences, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1988.

Sandra Day O'Connor, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1990.

Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1991.

(Editor, with Robert E. Litan) The Liability Maze: The Impact of Liability Law on Safety and Innovation, Brookings Institution (Washington, DC), 1991.

(With Michael K. Kellogg and John Thorn) Federal Telecommunications Law, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1992, revised edition, Aspen Law & Business (Gaithersburg, MD), 1999.

(Coauthor) The Geodesic Network II: 1993 Report on Competition in the Telephone Industry, Geodesic, 1992.

(Editor, with Kenneth R. Foster and David E. Bernstein) Phantom Risk: Scientific Inference and the Law, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1993.

Orwell's Revenge: The 1984 Palimpsest, Maxwell Macmillan International (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Michael K. Kellogg and John Thorn) Federal Broadband Law, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1995.

(With Michael K. Kellogg and John Thorn) The Telecommunications Act of 1996: Special Report, Little Brown (Boston, MA), 1996, also published as Special Report: The Telecommunications Act of 1996, Aspen Law & Business (Gaithersburg, MD), 1996.

(With Kenneth R. Foster) Judging Science: Scientific Knowledge and the Federal Courts, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1997.

Law and Disorder in Cyberspace: Abolish the FCC and Let Common Law Rule the Telecosm, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists: A Conservative Manifesto, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Mark P. Mills) The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to journals, magazines, and newspapers, including Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal,Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, National Review, City Journal, and Commentary. Columnist, Forbes. Contributing editor of Regulation, 1984—, and Legal Times, 1987; member of board of editors of Harvard Law Review, 1980-82.


Peter W. Huber, an alumni of Harvard Law School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (from which he received a doctorate in mechanical engineering), specializes in antitrust policy and the telecommunications industry. The conservative legal scholar has not only contributed to such notable publications as Harvard Law Review, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes, but has also authored, coauthored, and coedited a number of books. Among them are works directly associated with his chosen profession—publications profiling legal issues in the telecommunications industry. However, Huber has also produced titles discussing the use of science in America's legal system, and, more remote from his primary field of expertise, two books confronting common stances taken by environmentalists, Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists: A Conservative Manifesto and The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy, the latter of which attempts to dispel fears of a looming energy crisis.

Typical of Huber's studies of the legal system is the 1991 Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom. That publication is, according to a JAMA review by Laurence R. Tancredi, "a superb diatribe against the current legal system that allows plaintiffs' lawyers to trump up cases based on frivolous scientific grounds and to produce extraordinary awards." New York Times Book Review contributor Elisabeth Rosenthal wrote: "By combining legal history, psychology and sociology, Mr. Huber perceptively traces how the situation got out of hand." Huber primarily outlines "individual cases" but also discusses "the role of legal theory" and his recommendations on how to "improve the court process," related Tancredi. "Readers can take pleasure in his tempered yet passionate appeal," commented a Publishers Weekly critic. Tancredi judged: "Galileo's Revenge is well written, highly entertaining, and a very important contribution to our understanding of how junk science is used in the courts." Tancredi continued, "Huber's examples are legion, and they make fascinating reading." According to Rosenthal: "The book's most serous flaw is that Mr. Huber makes his case powerfully in the first 100 pages—and the makes it over and over again. While the many case studies make good reading, the editorials interspersed among them are at best unnecessary (we get the point) and are often painfully rambling and repetitive."

Huber revisited the relationship between the legal system and science in a book he coauthored with Kenneth R. Foster—Judging Science: Scientific Knowledge and the Federal Courts. In a Science review of the 1997 release, Michael D. Green summarized: "[Huber] has been an outspoken and prominent critic of the tort system, especially its performance in the arenas of science and new technology. He is widely credited with popularizing the phrase ‘junk science,’ although his work has been dismissed by many academics. The present book lacks the tendentious rhetoric that characterized his earlier work and, perhaps as a result of the collaboration of his former critic Kenneth Foster, is far more balanced, careful, and nuanced." While Green generally complimented the book, he felt that the book's "coverage of some critical issues is meager" and "some of the authors' criticism is [not entirely] fair."

"While much of Judging Science is a clear and easy-to-read primer on falsifiability, reliability, and validity, the authors consistently relate their review directly to the challenges facing a sitting judge," informed Matthew Schall in Library Quarterly. Schall stated that the authors "use the 1993 Supreme Court case of Daubert v. Merrel Dow Pharmaceuticals to describe the complex relationship between scientific testimony and the American judicial system."

With his 1999 release, Hard Green, Huber "challenges much that is now accepted dogma about environmentalism," observed Electricity Daily contributor Kennedy Maize, declaring Hard Green "a needed antidote." Huber asserts that society can "protect the environment from real dangers and still enjoy the luxuries of modern industrial society," stated Chicago Tribune critic Steve Chapman, who recognized that "most of his arguments will find favor with conservatives." In Hard Green, Huber analyzes many established arguments about what destroys and what supports the environment, exposing them as inaccurate myths. Huber, who believes that preserving the quantity of wilderness is a top priority, explains why big cities and technology support a healthy environment and why solar power and organic farming are counterproductive in protecting the environment.

"One might wish that Huber had packed Hard Green with more hard data, but his thesis remains compelling," assessed National Review contributor Christopher Rapp. Likewise, Chapman judged: "Though Huber's pithy dismissals of environmentalist bogeymen spare the reader from being drowned in scientific data, they occasionally sound glib and insubstantial." However, Chapman also found "Hard Green … an unusual book, one that moves the environmental debate a bit beyond the trenches that the right and the left have been defending for two decades. Those in either camp who approach Hard Green with a halfway open mind may find that after reading Huber, the idea of a new approach no longer sounds so crazy." Similarly, James Freeman concluded in USA Today: "After reading Huber's HardGreen, you'll find it hard not to agree with him." Freeman urged, "So, the first chance you get, buy a copy." Freeman further remarked: "Huber explains with clear logic what so many of us have felt in our guts."

Huber examines the reality of depleting energy and oil reserves in the 2004 work, The Bottomless Well, a "free-market-oriented, techno-optimist manifesto," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Coauthored with Mark P. Mills, the book posits the notion that mankind will continue to find new energy sources as old ones disappear. The authors contend that America's conspicuous consumption of energy is in fact positive, for it gives humanity the wherewithal to find new sources of energy. As with Huber's Hard Green, the authors of The Bottomless Well also challenge environmentalist and conservationist concepts; for example, they argue that more energy-efficient equipment will not reduce the consumption of oil, but instead only heighten demand for energy. A contributor for Oil and Gas Investor commented that "Mills and Huber see their job as puncturing myths and stirring up optimism, occasionally in their zeal running the risk of repetition." More specifically, the Publishers Weekly contributor faulted the authors for a lack of data to substantiate their claims, and concluded that The Bottomless Well was "an intriguing but incomplete vision of energy policy." Similarly, Jerry Taylor, writing in the National Review, noted: "Huber and Mills indeed draw blood, but for all of the clever insights therein (and there are many), there is also much in The Bottomless Well that is confused and flatly wrong." A more positive assessment came from Booklist contributor George Cohen, who concluded: "Readers with prior knowledge of this complicated subject will appreciate their conclusions the most."



Booklist, December 14, 2004, George Cohen, review of The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy, p. 693.

Chicago Tribune, February 13, 2000, Steve Chapman, "A Worthwhile Attempt to Advance the Debate on Environmental Protection."

Choice, July-August, 2005, R.J. Barthelmie, review of The Bottomless Well, p. 2018.

Electricity Daily, April 17, 2000, Kennedy Maize, "Earth Day and Disingenuous Greens."

Harvard Business Review, March, 2005, John T. Landry, review of The Bottomless Well, p. 28.

JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, February 26, 1992, Laurence R. Tancredi, review of Galileo's Revenge, p. 1136.

Jewish World Review, January 24, 2000, Linda Chavez, "Agreeing with Bubba … This Time."

Library Quarterly, April, 1999, Matthew Schall, review of Judging Science, p. 277.

National Resources Journal, summer, 2005, Micha Gisser, review of The Bottomless Well, pp. 778-782.

National Review, May 22, 2000, Christopher Rapp, review of Hard Green; April, 25, 2005, Jerry Taylor, "High Priests of Energy," review of The Bottomless Well, p. 56.

New York Times, January 22, 2000, John Tierney, "The Big City Urban Sprawl As a Way to Save Trees."

New York Times Book Review, October 13, 1991, Elisabeth Rosenthal, "Tarnished Testimony."

Oil and Gas Investor, November, 2005, "Is the End of Oil Nigh?," review of The Bottomless Well, p. S293.

Publishers Weekly, July 12, 1991, review of Galileo's Revenge, p. 57; December 13, 2004, review of The Bottomless Well, p. 57.

Science, November 28, 1997, Michael D. Green, review of Judging Science, p. 1574.

USA Today, January 19, 2000, James Freeman, "Saving Earth from Environmentalists."

Weekly Standard, March 20, 2000, Robert Royal, "Right Green: Toward a Conservative Theory of Environmentalism."


Digital Power Group Web site, (November 20, 2006), "Peter W. Huber."

Manahattan Institute Web site, (November 20, 2006), "Peter Huber."

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Huber, Peter W. 1952–

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