Obama Lifts Ban on Stem Cell Research

am signing this executive order, and why I hope Congress will act on a bipartisan basis to provide further support for this research.  We are joined today by many leaders who have reached across the aisle to champion this cause, and I commend all of them who are here for that work.

Ultimately, I cannot guarantee that we will find the treatments and cures we seek.  No President can promise that.  But I can promise that we will seek them — actively, responsibly, and with the urgency required to make up for lost ground.  Not just by opening up this new front of research today, but by supporting promising research of all kinds, including groundbreaking work to convert ordinary human cells into ones that resemble embryonic stem cells.

I can also promise that we will never undertake this research lightly.  We will support it only when it is both scientifically worthy and responsibly conducted.  We will develop strict guidelines, which we will rigorously enforce, because we cannot ever tolerate misuse or abuse.  And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction.  It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.

Now, this order is an important step in advancing the cause of science in America.  But let’s be clear:  Promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it’s also about protecting free and open inquiry.  It’s about letting scientists like those who are here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient — especially when it’s inconvenient.  It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda — and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.

By doing this, we will ensure America’s continued global leadership in scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs.  And that is essential not only for our economic prosperity, but for the progress of all humanity.

And that’s why today I’m also signing a Presidential Memorandum directing the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to government decision-making — (applause) — to ensure that in this new administration, we base our public policies on the soundest science; that we appoint scientific advisors based on their credentials and experience, not their politics or ideology; and that we are open and honest with the American people about the science behind our decisions.  That’s how we’ll harness the power of science to achieve our goals — to preserve our environment and protect our national security; to create the jobs of the future, and live longer, healthier lives.

As we restore our commitment to science and expand funding for promising stem cell research, we owe a debt of gratitude to so many tireless advocates, some of whom are with us today, many of whom are not.  Today, we honor all those whose names we don’t know, who organized and raised awareness and kept

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