Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Adam M. Finkel

Senior Fellow and Executive Director, Penn Program on Regulation

Adam Finkel

Adam Finkel joins the Penn Program on Regulation as its first executive director and as a senior fellow at the Law School. He is one of the nation’s leading experts in the evolving field of risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis, with 25 years of experience improving methods of analysis and making risk-based decisions to protect workers and the general public from environmental hazards. Continue reading… Adam Finkel joins the Penn Program on Regulation as its first executive director and as a senior fellow at the Law School. He is one of the nation’s leading experts in the evolving field of risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis, with 25 years of experience improving methods of analysis and making risk-based decisions to protect workers and the general public from environmental hazards. He comes to Penn Law from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) School of Public Health, where he is a Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health. From 2004-2007, he was a Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. From 1995 to 2000, he was Director of Health Standards Programs at the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and was responsible for promulgating and evaluating regulations to protect the nation’s workers from chemical, radiological, and biological hazards. From 2000 to 2003, he was OSHA’s Regional Administrator for the Rocky Mountain states. He recently received the David Rall Award from the American Public Health Association for “a career in advancing science in the service of public health protection.” Adam Finkel’s primary research interests are (1) quantifying and communicating the uncertainties in risk estimates, and critically examining the claim that risk estimates are invariably too “conservative”; (2) accounting for variations in human susceptibility to environmental and occupational disease; and (3) evaluating policies and technologies that show promise for reducing environmental and occupational exposures simultaneously, rather than transferring risks from one population to the other. He has published more than 60 articles on risk assessment and management in the scientific, economic, legal, and popular literature, and was co-editor of the book Worst Things First? The Debate over Risk-Based National Environmental Priorities (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1994). He is the principal investigator on a new National Science Foundation grant to study the advantages of quantifying uncertainty and person-to-person variation in the costs of environmental regulatory programs. In the spring of 2010, he will be teaching a course on cost-benefit analysis at Penn Law.

[Hide]

Expertise

  • Environmental Law
  • Government Regulation

Articles and Book Chapters

A Cost-Benefit Interpretation of the "Substantially Similar" Hurdle in the Congressional Review Act: Can OSHA Ever Utter the E-Word (Ergonomics) Again? 63 ADMIN. L. REV, 707-784 (2011).

"Solution-Focused Risk Assessment": A Proposal for the Fusion of Environmental Analysis and Action." Human and Ecological Risk Assessment,17:754-787 (2011). Also five invited commentaries following the article (J. Clarence Davies, Bernard Goldstein, Bruce Hope, Gilbert Omenn, and Dennis Paustenbach), pp. 788-812.

Book Review, 9 J. INDUS. ECOLOGY 243 (2005) (reviewing CASS SUNSTEIN, RISK AND REASON).

Perceiving Others’ Perceptions of Risk: Still a Task for Sisyphus, 1128 ANNALS N.Y. ACAD. SCI. 121-137 (2008) (volume entitled STRATEGIES FOR RISK COMMUNICATION: EVOLUTION, EVIDENCE, EXPERIENCE).

Protecting People in Spite of—Or Thanks To—the ‘Veil of Ignorance’, in GENOMICS AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION: SCIENCE, ETHICS, AND LAW 290-342 (Ch. 17) (Richard R. Sharp, Gary E. Marchant, and Jamie A. Grodsky, eds., Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 2008).

Integrity of Scientific Evaluations by Government Agencies, 13 INT’L J. OCCUPATIONAL & ENVT’L HEALTH 128 (2007).

Remarks upon Receiving the 2006 David P. Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health

Who’s Exaggerating? DISCOVER, May 1996, at 48.

A Second Opinion on an Environmental Misdiagnosis: The Risky Prescriptions of Breaking the Vicious Circle, 3 N.Y.U. ENVTL. L.J. 295 (1994-1995).

"Rodent Tests Continue to Save Human Lives," Washington Times, December 12, 1994, pp. 20-22.

A Simple Formula for Calculating the ‘Mass Density’ of a Lognormally-Distributed Characteristic: Applications to Risk Analysis, 10 RISK ANALYSIS 291 (1990).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

“Solution-Focused Risk Assessment”: A Proposal for The Fusion of Environmental Analysis and Action (currently undergoing peer review)
[View Document]

⇱ Return to Top