Science Debate congratulates President Obama on Stems Cells (#8) and Scientific Integrity (#12)
March 9, 2009
In August 2008, President Obama pledged to Science Debate 2008 that if elected he would lift restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research
that have been in place since August 9, 2001, and that he would ensure
that all research on stem cells is conducted ethically and with
rigorous oversight. (Question 8)
Today we want to congratulate President Obama for signing an Executive Order that follows through on that campaign pledge and lifts the restrictions. Please thank President Obama for taking this important step to advance stem cell research in the U.S.
Federal funding will now be allowed for research on existing embryonic stem cell lines, as well as new lines created in the future. However, the funding cannot be used to derive new embryonic stem cell lines because of existing law. The NIH is responsible for establishing new stem cell research guidelines within 120 days.
President Obama also pledged to Science Debate 2008 that he would restore scientific integrity to the federal government. We are therefore extremely pleased that President Obama also signed a presidential memorandum directing the Office of Science and Technology Policy to draft guidelines for the use of scientific information and the appointment of science advisors. This action reinforces his commitment to restoring the integrity of science in government, which was a major motivation behind the Science Debate 2008 initiative. (Question 12)
Today's Executive Order is the result of years of work by the American science, engineering and research community. Science Debate 2008 would like to thank each of you and all of our fellow education and advocacy organizations for this new dawn for science and health research in America.