Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ben Kaplan of Prop. 71 Campaign on Performance of Stem Cell Agency

The following is the text of what Ben Kaplan, one of the persons featured in Proposition 71 TV ads in 2004, had to say about the California stem cell agency’s  performance over the last decade.

He commented for a piece written by David Jensen, the publisher of this blog. The article appeared in the Nov. 16, 2014, edition of The Sacramento Bee.

Kaplan and others queried were told that it was likely that their comments would be limited in the piece in The Bee because of the space limitations of the print media. They were also told that the full text of their comments would be carried on this Web site. In Kaplan’s case, his remarks were originally included but were trimmed to meet the space constraints as were others.

Those queried were given generally free rein but were told that the print article would address such questions as whether the work of the agency would be worth its $6 billion cost(including interest), whether it had fulfilled the expectations of voters in 2004 along with discussing the achievements and shortcomings of the agency.
Ben Kaplan
Prop. 71 photo

Here is what Kaplan, who lives in Palo Alto, had to say via email: 
“Having worked as a consultant for a biotechnology software startup, I have seen the challenges of developing new medical treatments up close.  Thus, I have a degree of understanding of what CIRM is facing.  While new therapies or cures have yet to emerge from CIRM-funded research, knowledge of stem cell function and disease processes has advanced dramatically.
 “However, CIRM could also more effectively communicate research advances to the general public, who remain largely uninformed about its progress, achievements and future goals.  Despite this communication gap, I believe the research the CIRM has conducted lays the groundwork for treatments that will hopefully be available in the near future.”
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