More on The New Scientist and stem cells

As many of you know, I did a post this week on an article in The New Scientist that many readers had complained to me about.

Their concerns and mine as well centered on two points.

First, the article seemed at a factual level to be confusing and written in a People Magazine-esque style that was baffling.

Second, everyone I talked to who read it agreed the article was playing some kind of game of moral obfuscation, where it claimed to be in favor of continuing all stem cell research, but at the same time was attacking ES cell research.

I encouraged the readers of this blog to contact the editor of The New Scientist, Roger Highfield, if they shared my concerns about their stem cell piece and apparently there was a rush of comments sent to him. Highfield directly contacted me in response and he said he tried to post on a comment on this blog, however it did not show up on my list of comments to moderate. I have now offered to post verbatim any response that Highfield might have to this situation.

In his email he did say:

New Scientist has always backed well-conducted research on ES cells and I have voiced my own support many times, notably in After Dolly (written with Ian Wilmut).

It appears some of the readers of this blog were pretty harsh on Highfield himself in their direct communication to him and used some strong language. Please do not engage in verbal personal attacks of this kind. I’m opposed to those, at least in part because I myself have been the subject of them by folks on the other side.

I hope that Highfield will send me his response, which I will post.


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