Scientists Form New Group to Back Pro-Embryonic Stem Cell Research Pols

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 28, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scientists Form New Group to Back Pro-Embryonic Stem Cell Research Pols Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 28
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Several scientists have announced they’ve formed a new organization to promote politicians who back embryonic stem cell research and the morning after pill. The group will also back certain statewide measures pro-life groups oppose.

The group, Scientists and Engineers for America, appears to be a reaction to the science policies of President Bush and is made up of malcontents who disapprove of his reluctance to spend taxpayer funds on embryonic stem cell research.

The group told the New York Times it would be dedicated to electing politicians “who respect evidence and understand the importance of using scientific and engineering advice in making public policy.”

"Scientists and engineers have a right, indeed an obligation, to enter the political debate when the nation’s leaders systematically ignore scientific evidence and analysis," the group says on its web site.

The organization condemned the Bush administration, saying it has "put ideological interests ahead of scientific truths."

John Gibbons and Neal Lane, who were science advisers in the Clinton administration, started the new group and former FDA official Susan Wood is one of the handful of people on the group’s board.

Wood resigned from the drug agency because she was upset it was taking so long to approve over the counter sales of the morning after pill.

“The issues we are talking about happen to be issues in which the administration’s record is quite poor,” Lane told the Times. He said the goal of the group was to protect “the integrity of science” so Americans could be confident about the government’s scientific decisions.

Mike Brown, the group’s executive director, says it will be a 527 organization meaning it can get involved in supporting candidates for public office.

The group first plans to target pro-life Virginia Sen. George Allen, support the Missouri state measure that would promote human cloning and embryonic stem cell research, and it will get involved in selected Congressional races.

The group also plans to make sure the National Cancer Institute doesn’t again post information on its web site about the abortion-breast cancer link. The organization came under fire from abortion advocates when it informed women of the link and then received further condemnation when it removed the information.