Proposition 71 endowed the program with what looked like an embarrassment of riches. The danger is that, without better oversight and broader debate about its policies and goals, it will become simply an embarrassment.
IPBiz notes to Mr. Hiltzik: CIRM already is an embarrassment. From the shoddy economic analysis of Stanford's Laurence Baker promising California taxpayers riches where there were no riches to the seamy conflicts of interests, CIRM has been a problem. In this economic climate, its time has passed. [Of Baker, see
Berkeley's Gilbert challenges Baker's forecast of large Proposition 71 patent royalties ]
Michael talks of Robert Klein: But he is ever optimistic: "The first major breakthrough will change the world," he told me.
Hmmm, what was that about the Seven Cities of Gold?
Proposition 71 was passed against a background that the human SCNT work of Hwang Woo Suk was valid science, and that the "key" breakthrough had already been made. There had been signals that Hwang's work was problematic, but no one listened.
[See LBE's article in 88 JPTOS 239 (2006)]. In the three plus years since Hwang's fraud was exposed, no one has come close to obtaining human SCNT. The CIRM timetable was flawed from the beginning. See
What is the timetable for cures through human embryonic stem cells?
The Los Angeles Times has previously executed many puff pieces on CIRM. See
Los Angeles Times Article Way Off Base on Stem Cell Issues