Stem cell scientists wait—and wait—for Obama’s green light

No sign yet of Obama lifting Bush’s research ban, and scientists are getting nervous

At the National Institutes of Health and numerous universities, scientists are growing increasing anxious that Barack Obama has not yet fulfilled his campaign promise to lift one of George Bush’s most contentious policies, the federal ban on new human embryonic stem cell research. Proponents expected the new president to lift the restriction in his first week in office, when he issued a flurry of executive orders. “We were surprised and disappointed it wasn’t in there,” said Amy Comstock Rick of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research. Word from top adviser David Axelrod that the president is “considering” an executive order and will act soon, hasn’t helped. “The word the president is ‘considering’ it is too vague for me,” Rick said. “I don’t know entirely what that means. If it means he’s just working out the details, that’s great. But if ‘considering’ means ‘reconsidering’ we would be very upset.”

The Washington Post

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.