I confess. I am a stem cell scientist.
I might even be an evil scientist because you see my lab works with human embryonic stem cells along with a lot of other types of stem cells.
Hopefully even if I am an evil scientist, I am not an evil mad scientist, but that probably depends on who you ask.
This is not what I am here to confess in this blog or specifically in this blog post, but I thought I should just tell you about me for background.
One thing that I am here to confess is that I am not your normal, every day stem cell scientist, but rather I am a bit of a rebel in that I am a scientist who talks and blogs publicly about what I actually think. In fact, I go so far as to actively advocate for stem cell research and for patients.
I contact politicians and tell them about stem cells. I even say how I think they should vote and the reasons why. When I see an article on the Web that I believe promotes an anti-stem cell research agenda, I blog about it ( http://www.ipscell.com ) and sometimes I even go for the jugular.
One time in my blog I even did a smackdown, to quote another journalist, of a specific piece by NY Times science writer Nicholas Wade, whom I am a big fan of, when he published a puzzling, anti-stem cell piece in the Times Science Section (one of my favorite weekly reads).
So I guess what I am confessing in this blog post is that I am not just a scientist, but also somewhat of an activist. The two usually do not go together.
More generally, in this blog, I will post "confessions" of a sort about what goes on behind the laboratory door in the stem cell field.
What do stem cell scientists really think about things like iPS cells? ES cells? When life begins? Funding? Publishing? Tenure?
Stay tuned and you can find out.