Action Potential

The stem cell debate continues…

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.

Comments

  1. Report this comment

    Sarah said:

    I don’t think the average voter knows much about stem-cell research, including the arguments for and against it, not to mention what it is and why it’s important. A lot of people have an opinion about it without even understanding the issues involved.

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    Ian Brooks said:

    A day late & a dollar short here, but from what I’ve seen of the run-up to the 2008 elections, here in the States, the stem cell issue isn’t even on the radar (yet). Spiralling gas prices, the war in Iraq, the “DC Madam” scandal… these are the major talking points right now. This will hopefully change as we get closer…

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    Action Potential said:

    Cells reverting back to their youth

    Since we had a long and involved conversation on the role of embryonic stem cells in research, as well as how this issue is politicized by both sides of the debate (with additional discussion here), recent news insists that we…

  4. Report this comment

    Action Potential said:

    Cells reverting back to their youth

    Since we had a long and involved conversation on the role of embryonic stem cells in research, as well as how this issue is politicized by both sides of the debate (with additional discussion here), recent news insists that…