Friday, May 27, 2005

Stem Cell Research: Have a Good Old-Fashioned Fundraiser

With politicians still chattering about throwing federal money at fanciful hopes for embryonic stem cell research, we thought we would ask why federal money is so important. Why can't this money be raised privately from willing donors rather than through confiscatory taxation?

First, we'll remind everyone that President Bush never made the research illegal, it simply is not being subsidized by the federal government. Whatever you think of stem cell research, whether adult or embryonic, the federal government does not prohibit it. Now it turns out that federal funding might not even be necessary:

(MSN) [A]dditional government funding might have a limited impact because work is still in large part at the relatively inexpensive basic research stage, and so much private funding is available. Harvard has raised $30m towards stem cell research as part of an ambitious plan to hand out over $100m. Three New York medical institutions - Rockefeller University, Weill Medical College of Cornell and Memorial Sloan-Kettering - this month announced a $50m stem cell initiative. The state of Massachusetts is contemplating a $100m programme to fund stem cell research. And California is poised to hand out $3bn. "It's a lot of money, no matter how you look at it," says Charles Jennings, executive director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
By comparison, South Korea spend $27 million on stem cell research that has produced "results" recently.

So if you want your pet project funded so bad, why don't you ask the people and organizations that actually have their own money? It's working so far, it just doesn't make the 15-second evening news report.


April said...

They could have magic brownies!

Nick said...