Tuesday, March 10, 2009
An Historic Day
As I'm sure you can tell, I am a scientist. For the past 8 years, I have watched in horror as the Bush Administration dismantled scientific inquiry and made policy changes relying on falsified and incorrect scientific data. The state of science is something that worries me, not only for my future career, but also for the future of medicine and medical care, the prevention of diseases, the maintenance of health, the production of preventative care, our future generations, the health of the planet, environmental conservation and so on and on. There has been a marked shift in the way science is treated with the election of Obama, illustrated today by the reversal of Bush's ill informed ban on federal funding of research on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). In no way do I want to tout the amazing things stem cells can do - they cannot. At this time, we know very little about what hESCs could possibly do. There are still vast limits on what we can and cannot do with hESCs. However, I do want to say that the possiblilites are endless; you just have to give us some time. I think it's amazing to have a President who values scientific inquiry. As much as Bush's policies tried to ignore veritable, actual science (endangered species, anyone? global warming? hello?), Obama tries to put scientific policy in the hands of scientists. I am nothing but thrilled and hope this is the beginning of a beautiful science/political relationship.