Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Time Ripe for CIRM Webcasting

John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumers Rights, made the following observations via email on the meetings of the Oversight Committee of the California stem cell agency.
"Given problems with quorums I have no problem with telephonic meetings SO LONG AS THE PUBLIC HAS GENUINE ACCESS.(Simpson's capitalization)

"Also think regular meetings should be broadcast on the Internet."
Some time ago we asked CIRM about Webcasting Oversight and other committee meetings. Expense was the reason given for not carrying the sessions on the Internet. CIRM Oversight meetings (currently about six a year) currently run about $20,000 a pop. If one or two could be eliminated each year and replaced with an online session, perhaps the money could be found. An online session capability would also help with meetings of the working groups, where many folks have to travel from out of state.

On the other hand, providing online meeting capability on a free basis would be an excellent opportunity for a high tech firm, such as Cisco or Citrix, which has a substantial California operation, to show its interest in supporting a worthwhile scientific and medical endeavor. It might also simply be good marketing and give a firm an entry point in a sector that is scattered around the globe.

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