Sunday, August 19, 2007

NAS Opens Session of Public Officials on Stem Cell Cooperation

Following a flap over closed door meetings, the National Academy of Sciences is opening to the public the next meeting of its group looking at interstate cooperation on stem cell research.

John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumers Rights, said the next session will be held in Boston in October. He attributed the information to Warren Wollschlager of the Connecticut Department of Health, who will chair the session.

Simpson was thrown out of a California meeting of the group earlier this year by an official from the National Academy of Sciences, who said the session was private. The group consisted mainly of public officials who are associated with state programs funding stem cell research with public funds.

Simpson said in a news release:
"I’m glad to see the change of heart. Too often the scientific establishment has displayed a paternalistic 'trust-us-we-know-best' attitude that in fact undercuts public support for science. Scientists need to engage and educate, otherwise we end up with the know-nothing attitude too often exemplified by the current administration."
Our view: The academy is moving in the right direction. This is public business and should be conducted openly. Anything less only feeds the anti-science forces. Closed door meetings and secrecy breed suspicion.

For earlier stories on this subject, click below on the label "interstate cooperation." Sphere: Related Content

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