About Erik Millstone


Erik trained as a physicist and philosopher, but now works on science and public health policy; his interests include public and environmental health protection policies, the interactions between scientific and policy considerations in both risk assessment and risk management, BSE, GM crops and obesity policy.

All posts by Erik

sad plate of food

Brexit and food: there is no plan, so what is the UK going to put on the table?

by Tim Lang, City, University of London; Erik P Millstone, University of Sussex, and Terry Marsden, Cardiff University Even the British eat. But one might be forgiven for thinking that the UK government does not know this for all the attention it has paid to the implications of Brexit for UK consumers and the nation’s…

Puzzling questions on tackling antibiotic resistance

Last week’s conference on One Health for the Real World was an enriching experience. All the participants agreed that One Health means linking together our understandings of, and responses to, human, livestock and ecosystem health. See for example, this blog by Ian Scoones. There was also widespread agreement that doing so was important, although in…

Does social science suffer from ‘physics envy’?

Many social scientists and some humanities scholars suffer from a condition that I like to refer to as ‘physics envy’. The term resonates with Freud’s theory of ‘penis envy’, as he applied it to girls and sometimes even to women. The use of the phrase ‘physics envy’ is appropriate whenever scholars presume that the closer…

For or against GM crops? Other positions are available

Academic cheerleaders for biotechnology corporations need better arguments if they want to persuade the public, write Erik Millstone, Andy Stirling and Dominic Glover, introducing their article in a forthcoming edition of Issues in Science and Technology (PDF). Companies involved in crop genetic engineering (GE) see themselves as principled heroes in a struggle against opportunistic reactionaries….