Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Half-full, Half-empty Editorial on California Stem Cell Agency

The California stem cell agency's editorial road show paid off a bit again this week with a mildly approving editorial in the Oakland Tribune.

The Feb.18 piece said that the presence of Jonathan Thomas, a Los Angeles bond financier, as chairman of the $3 billion agency has improved things, compared to the reign of Bob Klein, who “built a protective shield” around the agency's governing board and prevented action to deal with obvious conflict-of-interest problems.

The newspaper also said that “to some extent” the agency has brought “cutting edge” scientists to the state and helped boost the stem cell field.

That was the half-full side of the editorial. The half-empty side included the headline.
“California must get its stem cell house in order”
The editorial continued:
“...{T)he agency must prove that it understands how to properly handle the public's money. …. If the stem cell agency can establish a record as a good steward of public dollars to finance brilliant science, it can continue to play a useful role in stimulating and guiding research to bring the potential cures from stem cell research to fruition.
“If it cannot do that, it will be just another expensive Tyrannosaurus rex.”
Thomas and company are knocking on editorial doors around the state in hopes of building support for the board's modest – some might say inadequate – response to recommendations for sweeping changes at the agency.  
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