Monday, May 08, 2006

Filling the Ethics Void

"A lot of scientists don't really see ethics as part of their job." -- Mildred Cho, bioethicist at Stanford University.

We found the quote from her on the blog of the editors of The American Journal of Biotethics.

Cho's comment is interesting in more ways than one. First, she is at Stanford, where some very advanced stem cell research is underway. Second, it seems at odds with the apparent position of some who seem to think that scientists know best, and outsiders should not meddle in research. The comment also speaks to a whole range of CIRM policy issues.

But let's focus on CIRM's position that the scientists making recommendations on grant applications should not make public disclosures of their economic interests. If what Cho says is correct, it seems imperative that public disclosure should be required.

Members of the Oversight Committee have remarked that many of their initial policies are works in progress and could well be changed as circumstances warrant. It is time for a re-examination of the disclosure policy, particularly in the wake of legislation that would require more openness and transparency at CIRM. Sphere: Related Content

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