“A Victory for Science” by The Center for American Progress
March 10, 2009, 1:00am

Yesterday, flanked by Nobel laureates, noted medical researchers, and a bipartisan group of members of Congress, President Obama signed an executive order undoing President Bush’s August 2001 directive banning federal funding for all but 20 embryonic stem (ES) cell lines. “By doing this, we will ensure America’s continued global leadership in scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs. That is essential not only for our economic prosperity, but for the progress of all humanity,” Obama said. The President’s executive order marks the culmination of tireless efforts over the past eight years by legislators, researchers, and advocates to rescind Bush’s anti-science policies. As a result, scientists across the country are heralding Obama’s decision. Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, noted that the turnout for the ceremony in the East Room of the White House included “more happy scientists than I’ve seen” at the White House during his 30 years in Washington. Jan Nolta, who directs the stem cell research program at the University of California at Davis, observed, “Now that we can use the federal funds, it [the research process] will just go so much more quickly.” Meanwhile, Congress is also moving to codify into law “the essential elements of ethical embryonic stem cell research.”

From The Progress Report