San Marcos, Texas
There are actually two issues raised in your post, so I'll deal with them individually.
First, the Stem Cell Veto:
The veto was really nothing more than an attemp to appease the religious right. The text of the bill was such that only embryos scheduled for destruction would be used for research, so the veto in fact "preserves" nothing except Bush's connection to the religious right. For more detailed and informed discussions from the life science community I recommend looking att he discussions on scienceblogs.com.
Second, the question of government funding of research:
Hardin maintains that the responsibility for funding research really lies with industry. I think if you talk to someone in industry, you will get a different view. The responsibility of industry is to make as much profit as possible for their shareholders, or partners in the case of privately held companies. Research that does not have a direct impact of profits, even in the long term, is not something that industry sees as their responsibility. I realize that this view is somewhat shortsighted, but it is the way thngs are right now. The question is then who should provide funding for the basic science that will lead to technological advances 20 or 50 years from now? A convincing argument can be made that the results of basic research improve the quality of life for all citizens, both by providing new technologies and by maintaining a stron economic base. Most people agree that it is the responsibility of the government to do this. I also maintain that it is NOT unconstitutional to do so. Federal taxes are legislatively mandated, as are federal research funding agencies. I think if we leave basic reaserch to private industry, it won't get done, and we will end up losing all of our researchers to countries (like those Asia and Europe) that have strong government funded basic research. The reality is that the USA is already behind Asia and Europe regarding basic research, and we're getting further behind every year.
> Re: My point of view
> Can't believe no one's discussing this here, so I
> thought I'd start off the discussion. (I'm a political
> junkie though so beware ;) )
> So Bush vetoed stem
> cell research funding... the FIRST veto in his tenure
> I'm torn on the issue.
> As a scientist I see this
> as one more way we're letting the religious crowd
> dictate what we work on (no offense to religious folks,
> my mom and father-in-law are both 'preachers'). But
> the 'moral' arguments for not supporting this research
> through government funding are just putting us one
> step behind the rest of the world. We should be out
> there pushing research boundaries on all fronts.
> We should be ethical with our use of technology and
> resarch, but we shouldn't use morality to dictate
> what we research and what we don't.
> On the other
> hand, as a liberty minded individual, I disagree with
> the federal government spending any money on resarch
> at all. That's our tax dollars! I guarantee I can
> spend my money better than the federal government
> can, and I'm betting so can you! I have a bit of
> a connundrum here in that as a grad student, I'm paid
> for by your tax dollars. It's a violation of the
> constitution for the federal government to be sponsoring
> all this research in the first place. Granted, only
> government entities can afford to do a lot of the
> fundamental research that goes on (it's just too expensive
> and not profitable for industry to do it). But it's
> still our tax dollars doing the work and is part of
> a bloated federal government operating outside of
> its constitutional bounds.
> So, good thing or bad?
> I dunno. If it's so important and so promising to
> do, industry should just go ahead and do it. I do
> NOT agree with 'legislating morality'. But will it
> get done otherwise? Not sure.
> What do you all
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value -- Albert Einstein