Let’s move the debate from an earlier thread in a different direction, as I am getting a bit bored by that discussion. By the way, for those keeping score, Dr. Condic’s response to the editorial in question was published in the July issue of Nature Neuroscience, and went live today.
Last week, President Bush vetoed another bill that would have allowed research on embryonic stem cells to go forward in America. Is Bush reflecting the current opinion of the country? A recent USA Today/Gallup pool says that he is not. Between 4/13/07 and 4/15/07, the poll asked 1,007 adults nationwide this question: “As you may know, President Bush has said he will veto a bill to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Do you think Bush should or should not veto this bill?” 31% said that he should, 64% said that he should not, while 5% were uncertain. In another recent poll published last week in Science , 60% of infertility treatment patients (over 1,000 in the poll) stated that they would prefer to have their unused embryos used for research purposes rather than having them destroyed or adopted by another couple.
Thus, it seems that the minority opinion is currently ruling on this issue, as it has for quite a long time. In fact, in all polls I could find dating back to 2001, when any group of people were asked if the federal government should support embryonic stem cell research, a majority always answered yes. So let me play the devil’s advocate for a moment; since President Bush was elected twice, this begs the question of how relevant the debate over stem cell research really is in the mind of the average voter! Where do you think this debate sits on the political front? Is this even one of the most critical debates pertaining to federal scientific funding? I’d love to hear your opinions.