AAAS S&T Policy Forum to Feature Stem Cell Advocate Robert Klein
Robert Klein, whose advocacy led to creation of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will be among the speakers at the 30th annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C. on April 21-22.
Klein is a lawyer and real estate developer whose son Jordan has type-1 diabetes. Researchers believe that stem cell research may some day yield effective new treatments for the disease. Driven by the desire to aid his son and others, Klein was the co-author of a $3 billion stem cell research measure approved by California voters in November and currently serves as chairman of the institute's oversight committee.
President George W. Bush imposed restrictions in 2001 on federal funding for such research. But the passage of the California measure fundamentally changed the stem-cell debate in the United States, establishing the state as a potential world stem-cell research center and provoking leaders in other states to begin their own research initiatives. The California institute recently announced that it hopes to begin dispensing money by May for research on embryonic stem cells.
The AAAS forum, expected to draw more than 500 science and technology specialists, will be held at the Loews L'Enfant Plaza Hotel. Neal Lane, a Rice University professor and White House science adviser during the administration of President Bill Clinton, has called the forum "the gold-standard event for anyone who needs to keep a finger on the pulse of R&D spending trends or political issues affecting the scientific community."
In addition to Klein, recently confirmed speakers include John Marburger, President Bush's science adviser; David Walker, comptroller general and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office; Hessamaddin Arfaei, Iranian Institute for Theoretical Physics and Mathematics and professor of physics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran; and U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), who will deliver a special William D. Carey Lecture.
Kei Koizumi, director of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program, will present an updated analysis of the Bush administration's proposed 2006 budget.
The forum also will feature sessions on the future of scientific publishing and communication; a systemic view of the science and technology work force; science and global health disasters; and the role of R&D in the U.S. and global economies. A closing plenary session will discuss issues, such as evolution and research on sexual behavior, where scientific interests and public attitudes can collide.
More information on the forum is available online; the program will be updated regularly at that site as more speakers are added. Credentialed press may register by contacting Earl Lane, 202-326-6431 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lonnie Shekhtman, 202-326-6434 (email@example.com) in the AAAS Office of Public Programs.
17 March 2005