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July 29, 2005


see also Plutionium Page's post at Daily Kos.

Standing in the way of progress is standing in the way of a freight train. It's not even a moral victory, just a messy clean-up.
--DemFromCT July 23, 2005 10:36 AM

I guess Bill reads TNH.

Heh. Too bad Bush doesn't.

Or maybe he is just hearing from the Pharma and biotech industries that they don't want to see this research allo going overseas. I don't know of a single Republican who would put God over Mammon if push came to shove. (Tom Franks' comments on Brownback on this issue are very funny.)

the Pharma and biotech industries that they don't want to see this research all going overseas

It is actually fairly long-sighted of them if they are providing the push! Since the pharma & biotech do not (to my understanding) get federal grants, and aren't directly limited by any of these laws (yet) their only interest is in keeping the US research community strong in stem cell research so they have a talented pool of PhDs to hire from. Even that interest is reasonably selfless, since these companies (unlike say a University medical school) are free to move segments of their operations overseas to where the talent is, if it comes to that.

The real beneficiaries here are the academic US research community, which is a fact I am still in awe about because we are absolutely awful at doing politics and PR. How the hell did this happen?

It certainly wasn't the public being pro-science -- we are faring miserable on most every other front, from things that should be taken for granted (teaching evolution) to things that are more difficult to explain but clearly beneficial to humans (like GM crops).

Partly it was Chris Reeve and Michael J. Fox. Partly it was the fact that, unlike most science, for this one you can bring an adorable 12-year-old girl with an incurable disease to a Senate hearing and say this may help her.

Partly, I think, it was just Bush being so strongly against it, and getting the progressives rallying around it in a reactionary way.

Whatever it was, we ought to bottle that shit because we (US academic scientists) could use a few more victories in the public mind like this one.

Maybe I am completely off the mark, but the word that stood out to me when Frist announced his support for stem cell research was the word “science.” He said "It's not just a matter of faith, it's a matter of science."

Well, Hillary mentioned “science” in her speech before the DLC convention. In her speech she imagines a time machine which takes us to the year 2020. She sees where the country will be under a Democrat administration and one thing she says is “ . .. we are funding research in science and technology at the highest level ever.”

Since I as a big believer in science, this grabbed my attention. If Hillary runs for president in 2008, it appears that science will be one of the things on her agenda. This is counter to the “faith-based science” which now dominates the thinking of the Republican party.

That being said, is it just possible that Frist, anticipating running against Hillary, it getting a jump-start by talking about science.

Maybe that is far fetched, but, being the cynic that I am, I have to believe that Frist did not change his mind on principle, but on politics.

Frist doesn't have principles. He proved that to me with Terry Schiavo, and to Dr. Dobsen with his speech today. See, he really can have it both ways.

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