The move is an excellent and far-reaching step in opening up the proceedings to all those interested in the $3 billion agency, which is the largest source in the world for funding of human embryonic stem cell research. The action also furthers the agency's goals to enhance stem cell research collaboration both nationally and internationally.
The announcement of the Internet and phone access is not yet up on the CIRM website, but here is what Melissa King, who is the go-to person on all CIRM board matters, told subscribers to one of CIRM's alert services:
"We are pleased to offer you the ability to listen in to the ICOC meetings taking place on Thursday, 1/29 and Friday, 1/30 either on the phone or online. The details are below.CIRM has been talking about and working on providing this sort of access for some time. The agency and all those embedded in the CIRM effort are to be commended for making the Webcast available at this point. That said, we should caution potential viewers that CIRM board meetings do not always have the drama potential of, for example, The Wire HBO series. First-time Webcast efforts like this sometimes also have glitches. But the CIRM staff, we are certain, will overcome any difficulties. Congratulations to all.
"NOTE: you will need Windows Media Player or RealPlayer to stream the audio online.
"Dial in: (866) 254-5938
"Access Code: 984698
"Web streaming URL:
"Enter Conference ID# 984698 Then click Go.
"Please note these are listen only access methods which we have made an effort to offer given requests for the ability to listen in live to our meetings. If you would like to address the ICOC with questions or comments in the context of this meeting, you are welcome to either attend the meeting in person or get written questions or comments pertinent to specific agenda items in to CIRM 5 days in advance of the meeting. General public comments are welcome (in writing in advance) as well, but we cannot guarantee they will be addressed at any specific meeting. Thank you."
(Editor's note: In the first paragraph of this item, we specified Jan. 29 California time. That's because a goodly number of those interested in CIRM are beyond the International Dateline. We are aware of that because they are among the readers of this blog.)