I have to say – a fresh spring breeze is in the air. Yesterday Barack Obama rescinded an eight-year moratorium on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Now, some of the most promising opportunities for treating or even curing diseases like Parkinson’s and diabetes can move forward with federal support and oversight.
President Obama also issued a clear directive to all heads of federal agencies on the role that science and the scientific process must play in guiding his administration. An excerpt:
“The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions. Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions. If scientific and technological information is developed and used by the Federal Government, it should ordinarily be made available to the public. To the extent permitted by law, there should be transparency in the preparation, identification, and use of scientific and technological information in policymaking. The selection of scientists and technology professionals for positions in the executive branch should be based on their scientific and technological knowledge, credentials, experience, and integrity."
The eight-year winter is over.