Obama: You know, when — when families sit around the kitchen table, they say to themselves, what are the things we have to have? College education for our kids. Paying our mortgage. Getting the roof repaired. A new boiler. What are the things that would be nice to have? A vacation. Eating out. Some new clothes. And if they can afford it, they'd buy things that they'd like to have. But the first thing they do is take care of the things that we have to have.
And under that category, I'd put things like research and development, education, making sure that we're sending our kids to college, rebuilding our infrastructure to compete on the 21st century, making sure that this country is safe.
And I'd like to think the administration knows the difference between federal regulations that protect independent research and oversight that hinders creativity and originality. Earlier in the summer of 2010 an institute created the first self-replicating bacteria cell with a synthetic genome. Though the scientific merits of that development were argued, a Presidential Commission of bioethics looked into the matter to decide what kind of oversight might be necessary in creating biological organisms of this kind in the future. On the 16th of December they made eighteen recommendations around five major points. But in its conclusion the commission recommended self regulation noting that the risks were few and vigilant scientists could be sure to monitor one another as this field develops.
I think that's a good middle road but hope the long expected government regulations on scientific integrity are soon released because while we don't want to micromanage scientific results we do want to make sure researchers are protected.