The debate over genetics and the resultant hue and cry makes me ask what everyone is so upset about. Genetic science is about to do great good. The problem in the red states seems to be about whether or not Mankind should be able to alter Nature. (Never mind that farmers have been genetically altering crops and livestock for 200 years.)
The real problem is a matter of perception. From the beginning, the creation story surrounding genetic scientists have been portrayed as Marty Feldman-typed mad scientists, trying to put duck feet on sheep.
While this perspective certainly helped make news, it certainly didn’t structure the argument for stem cell research. The reaction out in Middle Earth has been a resounding, “Ick!”.
What genetics companies need to do to “re-brand” their cause and help shift the debate, is to re-tell their creation story. Their origins are not from Frankenstein, but from Louis Pasteur.
Their quest is not to put duck feet on sheep, but to reduce human suffering and to help mankind.
Already, at least one form of leukemia can be cured simply by taking a genetic-engineered pill. Research is being done on other forms of genetic therapy for diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
The issue is not one of purpose, but of positioning stem cell research in the public mind. Using the primal code, we could make genetic scientists the next astronauts, not the next Frankenstein.