The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

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Wendy E. Wagner

  • Joe A. Worsham Centennial Professor


  • JD Yale
  • MES Yale
  • BA Hanover College

Areas of Specialty

Professor Wagner is a leading authority on the use of science by environmental policy-makers. She received a Masters of Environmental Studies in 1984 and her law degree in 1987, both from Yale, where she was Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal and Managing Editor of the Yale Journal of Regulation. Before entering teaching, she practiced for four years, first as an Honors Attorney in the Enforcement Division of the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division, and then as Pollution Control Coordinator with the Department of Agriculture's Office of the General Counsel. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas, Professor Wagner taught at Case Western Law School and was a visiting professor at Columbia and Vanderbilt Law Schools.

Prof. Wagner’s research focuses on the intersection of law and science, with particular attention to environmental policy. Among her publications, “Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research,” a 2009 book Wagner co-authored with UT colleague, Tom McGarity, received the Hamilton Grand Prize for the best book published at UT in 2009. Several other articles ("The Science Charade in Toxic Risk Regulation”, "Equal Treatment for Regulatory Science" (co-authored with David Michaels), and “Misunderstanding Models” (co-authored with Pasky Pascual and Liz Fisher)) were chosen as one of the best environmental law articles of the year and reprinted in the Land Use and Environmental Law Review. Two other articles (“Information Capture and Filter Failure” and “Competition-based Regulation”) were selected for publication in the ELI-Vanderbilt Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review as among the top articles of the year.

Prof. Wagner has served on two National Academies of Science Committees, the Bipartisan Policy Center Committee on Regulatory Science, and currently serves a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the U.S. (ACUS) on a project on the agencies’ use of science. Wagner is a Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform.

Recent Activities

  • Active Grants

    2010 – 2013

    National Science Foundation

    “An Empirical Study of the Administrative Process: Interest Group Participation and Influence in Complex Rulemakings,” NSF Grant SES-1023571 (3 year empirical study of rulemakings underway; completion in 2013) (with Bill West, Tom McGarity, Mary Jane Angelo, and Lisa Peters).

  • Studies

    August 14, 2011 – 2012

    Administrative Conference of the U.S.

    Consultant on Study on the Agencies’ Use of Science in Regulation (ongoing)

  • Panels


    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Conference on the impacts of High Performance Computing (HPC) on policy formulation and decision-making (Washington, DC)

Full activities list…

Headshot photo of

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Photo credit: Steph Swope

Contact Information

Wendy E. Wagner

Work (512) 232-1477

Fax (512) 471-6988

Office: JON 5.238
The University of Texas at Austin
727 E Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705

Faculty Assistant

Dottie M. Lee
(512) 232-1327

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