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AAAS Applauds Enhancement of Stem Cell Research and Scientific Integrity
"It really was an historic moment for science," AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner, executive publisher of Science, said while leaving a 9 March White House ceremony where U.S. President Barack Obama lifted restrictions on federally funded human embryonic stem cell research. "I have never seen representatives of the scientific community so excited."
Leshner was among a select audience at the White House Monday morning as Obama signed an executive order on federal support for stem cell research and released a memorandum on the integrity of science in the U.S. policymaking process. Among others at the event were AAAS President Peter Agre, the 2003 Nobel laureate in chemistry who now heads the Malaria Research Institute at Johns Hopkins University; Science Editor in Chief Bruce Alberts, who served as president of the National Academy of Sciences from 1993 to 2005; and Rosina Bierbaum, a former member of the AAAS Board of Directors who now serves as dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan.
In a letter to Obama, AAAS expressed thanks and hailed the executive order enhancing stem cell research, as well as a presidential memorandum protecting science from politicization.
"We believe embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for many millions of people around the world—scientists, physicians, patients and their families—and that American scientists should be at the forefront of that research enterprise," Leshner wrote. And, he added: "Your comments about substituting science for ideology as the starting point for policymaking is to us exactly the right approach.