A relationship sparked by an informal dinner conversation a year ago has blossomed into "Biotechnology Research and Innovation Frontiers: Implications for Policy," a one-year agreement between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a relative newcomer to the science policy scene. HHMI provides the funding and scientists. CSIS provides decision makers eager to learn. The project is part of CSIS' larger Biotechnology and Public Policy Initiative, whose goal is to "bring clarity to matters where science and policy intersect."

Most recently that intersection was in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., on April 24 at a lunchtime presentation titled, "Are Stem Cells the Answer?" — the third of six planned seminars. Congressional staffers, embassy scientific attaches, researchers, think tankers, and science policy types filled a room to listen to Douglas Melton, an HHMI investigator at Harvard University, and Gerald Shulman,...

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