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New Science Advisory Board study on the views of life science researchers on cloning.

Pedro Vera pedro.vera at gmail.com
Sun Jan 16 14:25:26 EST 2005

The Science Advisory Board has just released a report that
highlights the views of life science researchers on cloning. A
brief summary of it is provided below. The full report can be
accessed at

In this century, we are unlikely to face biomedical issues more
complex and controversial than that of human cloning coupled with
embryonic stem cell research. Sorting through facts, suppositions
and even fantasies is a challenging endeavor that can become bogged
down in rhetoric. With the stakes so high-promises of cures and
therapies for a host of devastating diseases and medical conditions
set against impassioned disputes about when life begins-the cloning
debate has evolved beyond the realm of scientific discourse and
into the spotlight of public opinion.

The majority of the 2,400+ life scientists who participated in a
study on cloning strongly believe that human therapeutic cloning
research should proceed primarily so as not to delay or forgo
critical medical benefits for patients. While the collective
responses from this study convey an urgent need to address the
issues surrounding the cloning debate in a proactive manner,
scientists seem pessimistic about their government's ability to do
so. Many of them believe that cloning research will proceed with or
without careful scrutiny and proper safeguards because of the
availability of private funding and therefore welcome a more open
and critical approach that involves public involvement.

However, despite this inclusive attitude, scientists perceive a
great divide between their own ability versus the public's ability
to fully grasp the technical details of cloning that they believe
will be necessary to make informed decisions. Scientists think that
the scientific community is most worried that such research would
not be as carefully monitored and regulated, as it should be (i.e.,
process-centered). The top two concerns scientists perceive for
their community regarding reproductive cloning are that there is no
clear regulatory and/or monitoring authority and there are not
enough research ethics protections.

In contrast, scientists assume that the public is much more
concerned with the implications of reproductive cloning as
interpreted through their personal moral and ethical framework
(i.e. belief-centered). The top two concerns scientists perceive
for the public regarding reproductive cloning is that it is against
God's will and that manipulating human life should be off limits to

For more information about The Science Advisory Board or this
study, please contact Dr. Tamara Zemlo at 703.778.3080 x25 or at
t.zemlo at scienceboard.net.

Tamara Zemlo, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Director, Scientific & Medical Communications
The Science Advisory Board
2111 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 250
Arlington, VA 22201
TEL: (703) 778-3080 x 25
FAX: (703) 778-3081
t.zemlo at scienceboard.net

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