September 28, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Witherspoon word cloud is surprisingly revealing

Witherspoon Institute

Remember that Witherspoon report on stem cells earlier this week that was supposed to be an authoritative look at embryonic stem cell research in its 100+ pages?

I posted my own thoughts on it here including some criticisms but also some surprising areas of agreement between this blog and them, even though they cited this blog as an example of pro-cures (not their words of course) Internet activism run amok.

Out of curiosity I did a word cloud of their humungous report and it is posted above.

Some big, intriguing surprises popped out.

The top words (tied) in their entire report?

Science Questions

To me that is very encouraging because it illustrates that we all might share another perspective and that is that we have more questions than answers about this topic.

Closely following in top usage were “human” and “research” then also “moral”.

The word “moral” coming up so big I think illustrates that this Witherspoon document is indeed one based on 15 individuals’ (14 men) moral perspective more than anything else. The fact that the word “science” is so big I think shows that this group would hope that you’d believe that their report is scientific, but in reality I think it is more about “morals”.

Some surprises because of the smallness of the words or phrases?

Embryonic, embryo-destroying, ethics, life and perhaps most surprising of all, the word “stem” is quite tiny….isn’t this document supposed to be about stem cells?