Biotech must be some brilliant scienceMonday, 25 August, 2008
I quite liked this comic (hat tip to Pharyngula):
While I was reading this, I was reminded of an interview with the chief scientist of Advanced Cell Technologies, Robert Lanza. The interview, titled “Fighting for the Right to Clone” (where clone unfortunately only includes therapeutic cloning), is subtitled:
Stem cell and cloning guru Robert Lanza has battled the Catholic Church, the White House, and violent protesters.
And later speaks of his time at Advanced Cell Technologies, and the dangers he faced:
[Lanza] At the time, ACT was a subsidiary of a poultry genetics company, doing work in agriculture. When I joined they made the move from animal cloning to human therapy, and we knew we would get hit, big-time. I may be the only person who’s had the [Catholic] Church, the pope, and a couple of presidents condemn my work. At one point we had bodyguards here. There was a bombing up the street; then a doctor at a local in vitro fertilization clinic was targeted. I didn’t think I would be alive for more than a few years.
[Discover] And you, alone on your island, were so vulnerable to attacks.
[Lanza] I would go for a walk, listening for sounds. I was one of the most visible people in cloning and yet I was isolated. I figured there was more than a 50 percent chance that I would be knocked off. But I wanted to go out trying. I’ve always followed my heart.
Hmm, condemned by the Pope, various churches, presidents of various nations, and at a good risk of being bombed. If that comic is anything to go by, biotechnology must be some brilliant science.