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ERIC Number: EJ969586
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0276-8739
Stem Cells, Science, and Public Reasoning
Hurlbut, J. Benjamin; Robert, Jason Scott
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, v31 n3 p707-714 Sum 2012
These are interesting days in the scientific, social, and political debates about human embryonic stem cell research. Pluripotent stem cells--cells that can, in principle, give rise to the body's full range of cell types--were previously derivable only from human embryos that were destroyed in the process. Now, a variety of somatic cell types can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent state. Meanwhile, long-standing promises about the therapeutic potential of pluripotent stem cells are inching toward realization, as several early-phase clinical studies are underway. At the same time, despite presidential declarations in favor of expanding human embryonic stem cell research, the regulatory environment is as complex as ever. Scientifically, clinically, socially, and politically, the stem cell debates are far from over. So, should federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research be expanded, diminished, or halted altogether? Ethical, legal, and regulatory issues associated with federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the United States have influenced the character and trajectory of the field in profound ways. These authors contend that discussions about the significance of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for federal funding policy ought not be reduced to technical debate; moral disagreement cannot be reduced to a calculus of biological sameness--nor should it be. They also state that when scientists acquiesce to pressures to resolve problems of politics through scientific expertise, they place unsustainable burdens on science, straining its limits and compromising its ability to serve its important political role.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A