ON-Lion Letter
In January, the first report of The Witherspoon Council on Ethics and the Integrity of Science was published in a special issue of The New Atlantis.  The Witherspoon Council is an important new body whose members hail from such fields as biology, medicine, law, political science, and theology. 

"In this inaugural report, the Witherspoon Council considers the proper relationship between science, ethics, and politics by examining the most prominent science-related controversy of the past decade:  the stem cell debates," according to a preface from Council's co-chairmen, Bradley Prize recipient Robert P. George and Columbia University's Donald W. Landry.

George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.  Landry is the Samuel Bard Professor of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine at Columbia.

The stem cell "debates touched on fundamental questions concerning the governance of science and the moral status of embryonic human life," George and Landry continue.  "More than just a scholarly assessment of those debates, this report seeks to improve the public understanding of how science and democratic politics relate, including the responsibilities of scientists and policymakers.

"We consider the inevitable interplay between science and ethics and the conflicts of interest that arise when scientists are both advisors to policymakers and petitioners for their allocations.  Among the report's most crucial lessons is that, in our system of participatory republican government, we are responsible for considering not only the potential benefits of scientific research but also the ethical implications of that research."

The Witherspoon Council is convened under the auspices of The Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J.  The New Atlantis is published by The Center for the Study of Technology and Society in Washington, D.C., in partnership with The Witherspoon Institute and the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) in Washington. 

The Bradley Foundation substantially supports Princeton's James Madison Center, The Witherspoon Institute, the Center for the Study of Technology and Society, and EPPC.
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