Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Translating Obama

From his speech on his stem cell policy.
I can also promise that we will never undertake this research lightly. We will support it only when it is both scientifically worthy and responsibly conducted. We will develop strict guidelines, which we will rigorously enforce, because we cannot ever tolerate misuse or abuse. And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.

This Order is an important step in advancing the cause of science in America. But let’s be clear: promoting science isn’t just about providing resources – it is also about protecting free and open inquiry. It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda – and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.

Guidelines for scientific research based on an ideology which Obama favors = Strict, responsible, prevent misuse or abuse, and are based on facts

Guidelines for scientific research based on an ideology which Obama opposes = Attacks on free and open inquiry, prevent scientists from doing their jobs, rely on manipulation and coercion, are deaf to scientists, and are based on ideology

Notice how no argument is made for why one set of guidelines (which basically lets scientists set their own ethical guidelines) is so good while another is so poor.

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