Why did I sign The Stem Cell Charter?
Yes, I’ve been really impressed with the launch and the associated campaign. Yes, my parents are cancer researchers and I (literally) grew up in lab. Yes, the website and videos are beautifully done. Yes, the Charter is well crafted, balancing both the opportunities created, and the rigor demanded, by science with the ethics that should guide all human endeavors. And yes, I believe in both the potential of stem cell research to create new cures and medical treatments and improvements to the quality of our lives this will foster.
But I signed the charter because at my core, I believe science to be one of the simplest, noblest, and purest pursuits available to humanity. It is the one endeavor in which, I believe, we come closest to understanding the unknowable truth about who we are, where we are, and how we got here. Stem cell research is an important part of that endeavor. The choice isn’t between banning it or not. The choice is do we conduct this research the way we should all science: openly, ethically, and in pursuit of the truth. This is what the Charter says to me.
But then, that’s just my reason. I hope you’ll have your own. If you do, I also hope be part of The Stem Cell Charter Sign & Share Rally that is running from now until Saturday. So check out the site and sign the charter! (copied below).
If you are really keen you can also:
- Learn more about the Stem Cell Charter and stem cell research. (The side has some pretty cool content including 12 mini-videos by clicking on “Renew the World”. Trust me – the scientists are real, not actors.)
- Digg the site
- Post links on facebook (and become a fan of The Stem Cell Charter)
- Tweet using the hashtag #stemcellcharter (and follow @stemcellcharter)
- Blog about why you’ve signed the Charter and why you think others should (like I have)
The Stem Cell Charter maintains that stem cell science has the potential to revolutionize the practice of medicine, develop treatments for diseases and create unprecedented hope for humanity.
The Stem Cell Charter affirms that, “[e]njoyment of the highest attainable state of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” – WHO, Constitution (1946)
To that end, the Stem Cell Charter upholds the following principles:
- Responsibility to maintain the highest level of scientific quality, safety and ethical probity
- Protection of citizens from harm and the safeguarding of the public trust and values
- Intellectual Freedom to exchange ideas in the spirit of international collaboration
- Transparency through the disclosure of results and of possible conflicts of interest
- Integrity in the promotion and advancement of stem cell research and therapy for the betterment of the welfare of all human beings
Endorsing the Stem Cell Charter is a collective call to action. By signing the Charter, we commit as individuals and organizations:
- To affirm the importance of stem cell science for humanity
- To advance stem cell science and the principles articulated in the Charter
- To disseminate the Stem Cell Charter
To lend our voice, time or other resources to advancing stem cell science as part of the Stem Cell Charter community, the Foundation or other related stem cell organizations or groups