The Risky Business of Public Health Research


Steven Milloy

Copyright © 1995 by Steven J. Milloy. All rights reserved. First edition. Published by the Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20002. Library of Congress Catalog Number: 95-72177. International Standard Book Number: 0-9647463-2-8


Years ago, as I was about to graduate from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health with a hard-earned degree in biostatistics, it occurred to me that a career in public health actually might be somewhat bleak, professionally if not financially.

I reali\ned the average person in this country lives well past 70 years of age. The average lifespan will approach 80 sometime around the year 2010. Exactly how much better can the American public's health get? How much need can there be for public health research professionals in such a healthy society? It's simple supply and demand.

Research professionals, I thought to myself, will become the public health equivalent of the Maytag repairman. No one will need us anymore. So I graduated, went on to law school and never looked back. But as it turned out, I grossly underestimated the entrepreneurs in our public health community.

In fact, there's something of a gold rush going on in public health today. Thanks to the general public's neuroses about health, some strategic fearmongering, and, of course, political considerations, public health has struck it rich — to the tune of billions of dollars in annual revenues.

Who would have thought it possible? It's the irony of ironies. More than half of us can expect to live past 75 years of age. Yet there are more public health professionals finding more public health problems than ever before!

I'm sure there are many people out there who want to know exactly how to take advantage of this curious situation. That's what this little guide is all about.

Click here for the Introduction.

Copyright © 1996 Steven J. Milloy. All rights reserved. Site developed and hosted by WestLake Solutions, Inc.