Author: Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner
Literature on the governance of stem cell research often assumes that improved regulation and biopolitical governance will keep stem cell research practices within the bounds of acceptable scientific development. But examples from India, Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Israel illustrate how formal regulation of stem cell research plays out differently in practice, showing that the standardization of stem cell research in fact creates new spaces in which “unacknowledged” but tolerated stem cell research practices proceed and flourish. The special issue illustrates how in Asian countries, depending on the quality of the research infrastructure, donated embryos and oocytes acquire different values for researchers, and competition in the life sciences requires different attitudes and efforts from scientists. Owing to the varying health needs and investment in the life sciences, disagreement exists about the national values associated with stem cell research, and its importance as a healthcare resource for local populations.
The full article can be found online at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14636778.2011.598048