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Conclusion

The pursuit and production of knowledge through scientific research is an undertaking that offers enormous intellectual rewards for researchers while also performing an important social function. The advancement of science has transformed our lives in ways that would have been unpredictable just a half-century ago. Whether stem cell research will have a similar effect remains to be determined, but the promise is so great that it seems wise to consider seriously how best to further such research in a manner that is sensitive to public sensibilities. Public conversations about research and use of human stem cells are well underway. This report is intended to contribute to and inform this ongoing dialogue.

We recognize that science does not exist in isolation from the larger community that feels its effects, whether perceived as good or bad. The work of scientists is, and should be, conditioned and directed by consideration of broader human values. This means that the development of public policy, especially where highly controversial matters are involved, must take all interested sectors of the public into account. It is only through broad-based participation that the values of all stakeholders in the research enterprise can be carefully considered and weighed. We hope that this report has offered an approach that balances the promise of human stem cell research with the public’s genuine concerns about such research in a manner that will lead to a consensus on how best to proceed.

Email link | Printer-friendly | Feedback | Contributed by: AAAS DoSER and the Institute for Civil Society

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