The (Not So) Great Stem Cell Brain Drain


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Guardian: The EU is warning Washington that “disillusioned” U.S. scientists will want to make the most of Europe’s more liberal rules on stem cell research. (Which aren’t nearly as liberal as they might/should be.)

Lord Sainsbury, Britain’s science minister, said: “There are a group of American scientists who are very disillusioned. In this field we have seen U.S. scientists coming to the U.K. If the US continues to take this very negative position I think within this field of regenerative medicine we will see scientists come from America and from other parts of the world, who would have gone to America, to the UK instead.”

And not only the U.K. Time notes that Singapore (land of punitive caning and bans on chewing gum) is all over stem cell research. “American researchers–fed up with politics getting in the way of science–are packing up and heading to Singapore, which is delighted to have them.” Singapore just announced a doubling of its R&D budget, to $8.2 billion over the next five years, “making it a regional research hub, particularly in stem cells.” Says a Singapore-based scientist who roams the globe recruiting researchers, “I go to the U.S., and I tell those scientists, Come to Singapore and finish your work.”

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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