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Wis. Governor: Put Science Over Religion

This story was written by Kevin Bargnes, Badger Herald

Gov. Jim Doyle addressed the World Stem Cell Summit in Madison Monday night and asked attendees to take one question back to the people of their state or country: Should science triumph over personal ideologies?

Doyle said by re-electing him to office in 2006, the people of Wisconsin voted for expanded stem cell research a major part of the Democratic governors platform.

The people of Wisconsin chose science over religion and politics, and have said to us that they want scientists to go into the laboratories and to push forward, Doyle said.

Doyle was critical of the National Institutes of Health and said the next president has to remove the politicization that has plagued the NIH.

We can do this by replacing members of advisory boards that have political and religious agendas and return the federal governments original tradition of populating these boards based on members' scientific expertise and knowledge, Doyle said.

University of Wisconsin Chancellor Biddy Martin opened the days events by welcoming attendees to Madison and said these times are exciting but precarious.

Im delighted that the exchange of actionable intelligence on stem cell research and regenitive medicine is occurring here in Madison, Martin said.

Earlier Monday, Doyle appeared on stage with presidential candidate Barack Obama in Green Bay.

He switched his talk to presidential politics late in the speech and called on either Obama or Republican candidate John McCain to reform federal funding for research.

I want to make sure that we have a president, who in January as one of his first acts, rescinds the executive order restricting NIH funding for stem cell research, Doyle said.

Doyle closed by asking scientists to make sure people know about the groundbreaking research they are doing.

Let people know that this isnt a group of mad evil scientists in a lab who are operating completely outside of moral and ethical rules, Doyle said.

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