Whining Scientists Always Get Their Way in Brave New Britain
I posted yesterday about how "the scientists" in the UK are whining because their human/cow embryo cloning scheme has not been funded by the government. I said that once their whining hit the papers, things would change quickly, because in the UK--what the scientists want, the scientists get. That process of, ironically, imposing politics onto science funding is now well under way. From the story:
The two research councils that have turned down requests to fund stem-cell studies using human-animal "hybrid" embryos are to be questioned by MPs on both sides of the House of Commons to explain why they have refused to issue the grants.Good grief! Mengele's infamous twin experiments could be justified on "the science grounds alone." They were moral atrocities. That means ethics, which means very little in this utilitarian age that will countenance anything but policy based on moral judgments about the intrinsic importance of human life.
As revealed by The Independent yesterday, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have declined to fund two separate teams of scientists who have been given licences by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to carry out the work. Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on science, said that he had written to the research councils to make sure that the funding decisions were made on scientific grounds alone, rather than being influenced by the personal moral position of anyone sitting on the expert funding panels.
Meanwhile, the BBC points out that just human/animal hybrid cloning is legal, doesn't mean it will be funded. (We'll see about that!) Moreover, it seems that the great IPSC breakthrough may be inhibiting coughing up the pounds to pay for nascent Isle of Dr. Moreau experiments, which could make the funding dearth a "science" rather than a moral decision after all. From the story:
Science has also continued to move on since last year's heated debate. Induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS) are adult stem cells which are made to act like embryonic ones with the ability to become any cell in the human body.Meanwhile the NHS is in full meltdown as "the scientists" huff and puff about wanting to clone. Prioritize Gentlemen and women. Prioritize.
They too have the potential to be used to treat a range of degenerative conditions and also circumvent the need to use human eggs or destroy embryos - although scientists involved admit therapies could still be many years away.
"There has been a lot of movement on this front and this probably has caused the scientific community to reflect a bit - technologies move on very rapidly," says Chris Mason, professor of Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing at University College London and a member of the UK National Stem Cell Network. "But none of this is mutually exclusive and there is still definitely a role for hybrid research. I simply do not believe that moral reservations are at play - the right proposal will always find the money."