Embryonic stem cells: court decision a threat to science itself

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I reluctantly concur with the point made by the plaintiffs' counsel Samuel Casey (Nature 467, 27; 2010) that the court's decision to stop human embryonic stem-cell research is not a threat to the federal funding of science. No, allowing research agendas to be dictated by religious fundamentalists threatens the very enterprise of federally funded science itself.

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  1. 3106 Castleton Court, Oakton, Virginia 22124, USA

    • Gordon Cash

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  1. Report this comment #14145

    Mark Fletcher said:

    "... threatens the very enterprise of federally funded science itself."

    Note the qualification in the text of this letter: federally funded science, not science in general. Even if the federal government provided no funding for stem cell research, there is no reason to believe that an optimal level of such research would not be funded by state governments and private individuals and organizations. Federal funding of stem cell research is not necessary. In light of this, consider what you are arguing for: that money be taken from tax payers and used for purposes that they find objectionable, legitimized only by a majority vote for representation. I have no objection to stem cell research, but I consider it unacceptable to force people to pay for it when this is not necessary.

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