September 18, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Shut Down This Stem Cell Blog or Else!

While most readers here tell me they greatly value our stem cell blog, after some threats I’m wondering: is it time to shut this blog down?shut it down, stem cell blog threat

Some people are saying I should or else!

Unfortunately, threats to scientists, scientific openness, and science itself are not unusual.

This stem cell blog in its current incarnation has now existed for about a year.

I’m happy to say that in the last year our readership has grown quite a lot such that we get about 2,000 page views a week.

We remain, as far as  I know, the only real blog on stem cells written by a faculty level scientist.

Week after week, we often remain the only alternative to anti-stem cell pieces as a top five “hit” in Google News Searches for “Stem Cells”. As a result, most of our “company” on the Internet amongst the top sites are virulent opponents of stem cell research so I think we serve a very important purpose. We also often are the only general Google hit for “stem cell blog” that is not an anti-stem cell blog.

Along the way I’ve tried to “keep it real” by telling you what I think, while at the same trying not to piss off too many of my fellow scientists or funding agencies. It’s been a tricky balance.

I’ve gotten a lot of heat for this blog, but for various reasons I continue writing it.

In fact, some folks have gone so far as to tell me to stop blogging, to shut this blog down.

The clear or implicit threat from them  has been that if I continue this blog, I will pay the consequences from some of the stem cell community.  The threat is very real no matter what form it comes to me.

Maybe I’m stupid to keep doing this blog, but especially since my own battle with cancer I’m committed to being both a scientist and a patient advocate, and part of that is blogging.

I find it sadly ironic that it is not the opponents of stem cell research from whom I’m getting pushback and who want to shut this down, but instead it is some stem cell scientists who do not like a scientist speaking their mind and publicly being an advocate.

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