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October 30, 2009

Professors Thomas McGarity and Wendy Wagner win grand prize at Hamilton Book Awards for their book, Bending Science

Photo of Victoria Rodriguez, Thomas McGarity, Wendy Wagner and Mechele Dickerson.

From left: Victoria Rodriguez, vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Texas at Austin; Hamilton grand prize winners Thomas O. McGarity and Wendy Wagner; and Mechele Dickerson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Arthur L. Moller Chair in Bankruptcy Law and Practice at the School of Law. Photo by Debbie Finley.

Professors Thomas McGarity and Wendy Wagner of the University of Texas School of Law won the $10,000 grand prize at the Hamilton Book Awards for their book, Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research, on Wednesday, October 28, 2009.

McGarity is the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law, and Wagner is the Joe A. Worsham Centennial Professor in Law. The book was published in 2008 by Harvard University Press.

The Hamilton Book Awards are the highest honor of literary achievement given to published authors at the University of Texas at Austin. They are sponsored by the University Co-operative Society.

In their book, McGarity and Wagner describe how corporations, plaintiff attorneys, think tanks, even government agencies have been caught suppressing or distorting research on the safety of chemical products. Bending Science reveals that ideological and economic attacks on research are part of an extensive pattern of abuse and corruption, and the authors make a compelling case for reforms to safeguard both the integrity of science and the public health.

“It’s wonderful that Wendy and Tom won this award,” said Larry Sager, dean of the School of Law. “Their book deserves this accolade. Both are remarkably gifted, dedicated and giving citizens of our community and the broader community whose welfare they kept as their lodestar in their book. We are lucky to have them both as teachers, colleagues, and friends.”

“Professor Wagner and I are deeply honored by the award and proud to be members of a faculty that has consistently produced so many extraordinary books over the past several years,” McGarity said. “We are also deeply grateful to the Co-op Bookstore for sponsoring the awards, which are appropriately named for our prolific colleague Bob Hamilton.”

The Hamilton Awards are named in honor of Professor Robert W. Hamilton, the Minerva House Drysdale Regent Chair-Emeritus in Law. Professor Hamilton was chair of the Co-op Board for twelve years, from 1989 to 2001, and was in large measure responsible for the Co-op’s uncommon growth and profitability during that period.

There were also four winners who took home $3,000 runner-up prizes for their books. Another highly regarded award presented at this event was University Co-operative Society’s Career Research Excellence Award. A complete list of winners of the Hamilton Book Awards can be found on the University Co-op website.

Michael Granof, chairperson of the Co-operative Society and the Ernst & Young Distinguished Centennial Professor of Accounting in the McCombs School of Business, hosted the event and announced the winners. Victoria Rodriguez, vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, presented the awards.

The University Co-op is a nonprofit corporation owned by the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Texas at Austin. Since the year 2000, the University Co-op has given more than $28 million in gifts and rebates.

Related link:

New book by professors Thomas McGarity and Wendy Wagner reveals efforts by special interests to manipulate public health research


Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or