Salon ran a good article by Farhad Manjoo the other day that looked at current US policy on stem cell research, as well as events at the President's Council on Bioethics. Chris Mooney feels that Farad Manjoo didn't come down hard enough on Kass and company, however:
I totally agree with Manjoo's deadly condemnation of Bush's stem cell policy. But I wasn't at all convinced by the supposed Blackburn takedown.
So in summary: The Salon piece is good on the subject of how stem cell research has ground to a halt. I have no idea why it's so weak on the Blackburn question.
Go and read Chris Mooney's post for the actual reasoning, which is too long to politely reproduce here. He's referring to the dismissal of Elizabeth Blackburn from the council, probably for her pro-research views and criticism. Farad Manjoo feels that there isn't much to that story; Chris Mooney and I disagree.
In any case, as I've said before, the best thing we can all do is to forge ahead and try our best to help hard-working researchers make Kass and his anti-progress crew irrelevant. The more advances and near-future cures that can be demonstrated and widely publicized, the less anti-research legislation we'll see.