Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Evangelical" stem cell advocates "preach" war between science and ideology

Although the San Francisco Chronicle is NOT writing about Klein's letter concerning Ortiz, the Chron is writing about stem cells:

[Chris Bell] was preaching to a choir of stem cell research advocates gathered
for a two-day conference at Stanford University that was partly a pep rally
and partly a strategy session for reincarnating California's Proposition 71 across
the country. Organizers portray the effort to replicate that 2004 state
initiative as a growing coalition. Prop. 71 authorized $3 billion in taxpayer-backed
grants for human embryonic stem cell research.

Advocates hope to extend their victory to other states, including
some of the reddest of the red, while also gearing up for a potential head-on
collision with President Bush's promised veto of pro-stem cell legislation pending in
the Senate.


John Robertson, a law professor at the University of Texas, joined
Paul Berg, a Stanford Nobel laureate, in proposing that advocates begin talking
about stem cell research as a fundamental civil liberty, a matter of free inquiry
and free speech for scientists, as well as a right of access to treatments for
Robert Klein, chairman of the Prop. 71 agency and leader of the 2004
campaign, urged his allies to exploit some of the more extreme elements
of proposed research bans that would penalize patients and family members
who resort to certain stem cell based treatments.

"This is a violation of basic family rights," Klein said. "If you
communicate that message effectively, your constituency is much bigger than you

Stem cell research, Klein said, can become "a surrogate for science
in a war between science and ideology."

[from SF Chron, A1, June 12, 2006 Monday]

IPBiz says: We need less rhetoric and more truth. As noted in the journal Science:

Researchers say the public and patients alike must be given realistic assessments of the expected results of experimental stem cell therapies.

[from South Korea picks up the pieces, 312 Science 1298 (2 June 06)]


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