Wednesday, January 09, 2008

FTCR on Childrens Hospital Appeal: Fairness v. Secrecy

John M. Simpson, stem cell project director of the Foundation for Tazpayer and Consumers Rights, offered the following comment on the item below dealing with Childrens Hospital Oakland appeal of what amounts to a grant denial.
"CIRM management's now inconsistent penchant for secrecy coupled with news of the Children's Hospital letter of appeal once again demonstrates the importance of complete transparency.

"When institutions ask for public money they should be publicly identified. When they are rejected -- even if it's by members of a closed scientific brotherhood -- they should be identified and the reasons for the rejection should be spelled out.

"In this case CIRM management touted the 'successful' applicants and remained mum about what may, in fact, be excellent programs.

"Anything less than full disclosure leaves CIRM management justifiably open to charges of favoritism. In the long run that inevitably undercuts public faith in an agency whose dedicated staff in fact is attempting to serve the public interest by fostering important scientific research."

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