Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Things Heat Up

Thomson and his colleagues, like most research biologists, are part of an international network of scientists working in universities, research institutes, and corporations. Since 1945 American universities with biological and medical sciences programs have benefited from the bounty of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its biggest agency, the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is a foregone conclusion that without the NIH, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and other government agency funding, Americans would not enjoy some of the best medical care in the world. Although the brute force of government spending on biological science hasn’t always yielded immediate results, by most measures, America has benefited greatly from the investment. Americans have access to a powerful repository of drugs, therapies, and medical devices—a dizzying array of technology designed to propel us into a happy and healthy old age.

But not all has been congenial between biomedical scientists and their funding agencies. Presidents and Congresses, both liberals and conservatives, have used their authority to guide, redirect, and limit funds. In this aspect, the fate of science funding is no different than funding for interstate highway systems, municipal police departments, or the National Endowment for the Arts. As it turned out, James Thomson and other human embryologists did their work not with government resources but with private funds. Why? Because government support of research using human embryos has been banned by Congress for decades. The controversy began in the late 1970s with the advent of IVF and the spare embryos generated by the procedure. Most proponents of biomedical research hold that it is morally permissible, even morally required, to use the extra embryos for potentially life-saving biomedical research. Opponents object, saying that the destruction of any embryo is the moral equivalent of killing a human life.

Soon after the Thomson paper was published, the NIH, recognizing the potential of human embryonic stem cell research, sought to lift the congressional ban, and NIH director Harold Varmus said he would draft guidelines regulating the use of embryonic cells. In 1999, President Clinton asked for a review of the matter by his ethics experts, and they concluded that the federal government should fund research provided that only embryos left over from fertility treatments be used. The recommendations clearly stated that the parents must have donated the embryos expressly for the research and that the IVF clinics must not profit from the exchange.

That year, Science proclaimed the development of human stem cell lines as the most important advance of the year. Cn its annual top ten list, it said, "In just one short year, stem cells have shown promise for treating a dizzying variety of human diseases." Similar reports followed from the major media outlets. CNN breathlessly reported, "Researchers isolate human stem cells in the lab; breakthrough could lead to treatments for paralysis, diabetes."7 Amidst the commotion, however, were growing criticisms and warnings from religious and moral leaders. The National Council of Catholic Bishops protested, calling the White House policy to allow the use of otherwise-discarded early embryos "guidelines on how to ethically destroy human life."8 Pope John Paul II weighed in, calling stem cell research an "accommodation and acquiescence in the face of other related evils, such as euthanasia [and] infanticide." He went on to say, "A free and virtuous society, which America aspires to be, must reject practices that devalue and violate human life at any stage from conception until natural death."9 The fact that cloned animals were now part of the scientific scene muddied waters further—the procedure used to make Dolly the sheep shares its scientific history with embryo research. Scientists and journalists used words such as embryo and cloning so cavalierly that the lay public wasn’t sure what distinguished animal cloning from babies conceived through IVF and embryonic stem cell research. As the millennium drew to a close, many people felt that a knock on the door from their human clones seemed a distinct possibility.

Clinton signed the NIH guidelines in August 2000, opening the door to scientists who needed funding for embryonic stem cell research. But few were willing to risk the precious time to write grant proposals that could be rescinded with sudden shifts in political winds. During a campaign speech, George W. Bush made clear his intentions regarding the issue, saying, "I oppose federal funding for stem cell research that involves destroying living human embryos."10 In an election year riddled with controversy, the stage was set for a raging battle in which scientists, politicians, religious leaders, doctors, and patients would find themselves unwilling soldiers.

One year later from his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush made a sweeping announcement: funding from the NIH would be used for research only with preexisting embryonic cell lines (which numbered only in the dozens), and no federal funds would be used for the creation or use of new stem cell lines or to clone human embryos for any purpose. Later that same year, the House of Representatives followed the administration’s lead and, by a wide majority, banned cloning of humans and voted to criminalize so-called therapeutic cloning, a laboratory method used to generate embryonic stem cells. The penalty was set at a $1 million fine and up to ten years in jail. In January 2002, the Senate swung into action, and Sam Brownback (R, Kansas) introduced a proposal that mirrored the House’s bill. The Senate failed to act on the legislation in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, momentum in favor of stem cell research began to swing slowly the other direction. In a challenge to President Bush, the House of Representatives approved legislation to lift the ban on embryonic stem cell research. The vote was 238 to 194, 47 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto. "I made it very clear to the Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayers’ money, to promote science which destroys life in order to save life—I’m against that," Bush said before the vote. "And therefore, if that bill does that, I will veto it."11

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020