This is hot: The promoters of human cloning and ESCR constantly bemoan the alleged “fact” that the USA is falling behind in stem cell research because of President Bush’s funding policies. Now, we know that is pure bunk. The Scientist, no less, has published statistics about the number of peer reviewed articles published about stem cells.
The USA is way ahead: “US-based scientists have by far authored the most stem cell articles, some 13,663 in 2000-2004–42% of total articles. Germany [which outlaws all human cloning and ESCR] came in second with 10.2% of the total, followed by Japan, the UK, France, Italy, Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden.”
Of course, the magazine tries to spin the findings to make the USA appear to be lagging. It does so by measuring the number of articles per million citizens, which permits Israel to be named as the leading country because it has such a small population. Under this spun way of measuring, the USA comes in 6th, but note that we are still ahead of the UK, which explicitly permits human cloning for biomedical research and has a generally anything goes approach to biotechnology.
This is the bottom line: United States researchers are responsible for almost half of all the stem cell articles published in the world between 2000 and 2004! And number two is the country with perhaps the most restrictive laws in the world about cloning and embryonic stem cell research.