Censoring Science: A Stem Cell Story analyzes First Amendment implications of federal and state policies controlling human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. The article describes the constitutional principles at stake when religiously-motivated policies interfere with scientific speech and inquiry.
The report begins:
This is a tale of bold government overreaching. It is a cautionary tale, a reminder that the Constitution‚Äôs First Amendment protections of the free exchange of ideas, the right to make one‚Äôs views known to government, and the expectation of government transparency are only as strong as our demand for their implementation. The following is a case study of the suppression of scientific discovery put in motion by presidential fiat, unfettered by Congress, and embraced by leaders of various states. In making policy for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, the highest government officials, expressing the supremacy of religious views, have restricted the marketplace of ideas through actions that have denied the nation its right to political participation. As a result, the public has suffered real and long-lasting consequences.
The entire article is available for download here.