Frontiers Journal of Cell Biology: Research & Therapy

Transnational And Comparative Dimensions Of Stem Cell Science Policy

Keywords : Stem Cell Science


Research questions : This study examines (i) factors that shape transnational or state-centered zones of stem cell research policies and (ii) how these factors affect translation pathways of academic institutions. The zones are jurisdictional fields of technologies and knowledge that regulators attempt to define (Barry, 2006; Faulkner, 2009). As debates have shifted from morality issues to applications in the stem cell science, it is a legitimate timing to reflect these questions.

 Methodology : The study conducts an inductive-deductive analysis by combining the factor analysis and in-depth case analysis. Factors investigated are institutional legacies (Banchoff, 2005, 2011; Gottweis, Salter, & Waldby, 2009; Holge, 2014), intellectual property regulations (Magnus, Caplan, & Macgee, 2002) and the competition style of moral-based stakeholders (Attas, 2004). Data sources are Lijphart’s indexes of patterns of democracy, laws and research policies of 22 OECD countries, and publicly available documents.

Results and Discussion : Among factors of reduced variables, “the political legacy” and its constituent, “the interest group competitiveness” yield a consistent meaning (Table 1). Among countries investigated, the USA and Germany have similar legal legacies and different stem cell research policies. The in-depth analysis shows that the turning points are scientific evidence on the potential therapeutic development and rights-based arguments on the reproductive justice (see, Gottweis et al., 2009). As the distinction between the cells and organisms that have a self-directing capacity (George & Tollefsen, 2008) was not necessarily clear, the debates invited the political polarization. The prominent academic institutions complement missing elements in the translation through global research alliances. [Conclusion] (a) Given similar legal legacies, the ambiguity in defining thresholds of cells and organisms that relate to human identity invites politics. Competition styles of moral-based stakeholders affect zones of science. (b) Societal justification affects the translational pathways of academic sciences. (c) Global research alliances complement missing factors for each other.