Monday, September 27, 2010

Text of CIRM Board Members Responses on Public Ban at External Review

Last week we sent an email to directors of the California stem cell agency and posed the following question.
“Do you think that the October review of CIRM's progress should be open to the public?”
We also told them that we would carry the text of any comments verbatim.

Four directors responded. Here are their comments.

Jeff Sheehy, a communications manager at UC San Francisco and a patient advocate member on the board, gave a one word response.
“Yes.”
Ed Penhoet, co-founder of Chiron and serving on the board as an executive officer of a commercial life science entity , said,
“Sorry, David, but I don't think that CIRM should conduct its board
business through an intermediary.”
David Serrano Sewell, a San Francisco deputy city attorney and a patient advocate member on the board, said,
“Here's my question to you, does this meeting qualify as a public meeting under the applicable state law requiring public meetings? No, it does not. At a minimum you've got to say that, this meeting is not required by state law to be a public meeting. Obviously, you think it should be, but it's not required.”
Floyd Bloom, former editor-in-chief of Science magazine and serving on the board as an executive officer from a California university, said,
“This aspect of the forthcoming review has not been discussed at any meeting at which I have been present, so this view is entirely my own, but I do not see the need for the Panel of Internationally distinguished scientist's review of CIRM's progress and achievements to be a Public Meeting.

“The 2006 Strategic Plan that authorized this outside review specifically calls for the report of the review committee to be made the ICOC:

"'The review will be reported to the ICOC who will consider the recommendations made in the review and, on that basis, approve modifications to the strategic plan.'

“As such the Public will hear what the outside experts have determined about the matters they have been asked to review and at the presentation to the ICOC there will be the standard opportunity for public questions and statements.” 
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