Stem Cells and Cloning in the Public Eye

From golden rice to global warming, science makes headlines these days like never before. Not since Dolly the sheep made her debut five years ago did a scientific issue command as much attention as did cloning and stem cells during the week of Aug. 6. As soon as the White House announced on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 9, that President George W. Bush would make a nationally televised speech that evening regarding federal funding of stem cell research, newspapers, TV, and the Internet courted the s

Barry Palevitz
Sep 2, 2001
From golden rice to global warming, science makes headlines these days like never before. Not since Dolly the sheep made her debut five years ago did a scientific issue command as much attention as did cloning and stem cells during the week of Aug. 6.

As soon as the White House announced on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 9, that President George W. Bush would make a nationally televised speech that evening regarding federal funding of stem cell research, newspapers, TV, and the Internet courted the story, complete with voyeuristic views of eggs pricked with a new set of genetic instructions. Along with the latest news, we were also stuffed with the usual pontifications from preening pundits and science wonk wannabees. Nobody was sheepish about expressing opinions, no matter how "unseminal."

Bush's decision to narrowly support stem cell research also pushed a related event off page one. Gathered earlier in the week...