March 04, 2004

Scientists Strike Back!

Here's more about the Treasury Department's interpretation of "editing" for publications from embargoed nations (see below).

Most scientific societies are defying or ignoring the rule, which applies to all US publications. Theoretically, their refusal exposes their editors and officers to fines of up to $50,000 and 10 years or more in jail, should the government decide to prosecute, which so far it has not done. A number of technical and general publishers are considering suing to overturn the long-overlooked federal regulation behind the ruling, and many scientific groups are considering donating substantially to that cause. But a Treasury Department official in the center of the fracas told The Scientist that he favors a new reinterpretation that would please all sides.

So the scientific community thinks this is a) asinine and b) unnecessarily restrictive.

Then there's the stem cell debate, in which there's new news from yesterday:

There are even fewer stem cell lines than Bush thought when he issued his policy on August 9, 2001; scientists are unhappy and so is Congress. It looks like only 23 lines may be useful, rather than the 70 or so he claimed when he denied federal funds to any more. There is no thought of changing policy, the Administration says. Now a scientist at Harvard has developed 17 new lines, which may put more pressure on the Administration to allow federal money to be used for research, particularly since he's going to give them away. Here's a pretty good overview of the ethical aspects of this issue, as distinct from the political.

Posted by Linkmeister at March 4, 2004 10:45 AM