Back in January I posted this comment to ask what is science’s “rightful place.” Now it seems we’re getting a clearer picture of the answer as far as the President is concerned. Fox News is reporting that President Obama to issue an executive order on Monday that would lift the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research put in place under President Bush.
Regardless of one’s opinion or position on this issue, there are a couple points of concern with respect to this story. First is this comment from the new story that “Obama’s move is expected to lift that restriction. The official said the aim of the policy is restore “scientific integrity” to the process.” I don’t know who this official was, but exactly what is “scientific integrity” and who gets to decide it?
Apparently the answer to that question is found a little later in the article: “But leading researchers consider embryonic stem cells the most flexible, and thus most promising, form — and say that science, not politics, should ultimately judge.” In other words science ought to be the arbiter of its own morals and ethics and government can keep its moral and ethical opinions on scientific practice to itself!
I find this to be the height of arrogance and, frankly, its a bit scary. A science morally and ethically unrestrained by government will ultimately take the mentality that anything that is possible should be.