Some holiday reflections on stem cells and people

I’m taking a short break from working on a grant progress report this morning (yes, it’s Christmas Eve) so I thought I’d do a post on the holidays.

As the very exciting, complicated year of 2012 winds to a close and the holidays are here, I thought perhaps it is a time to put things in perspective for the stem cell field.

I wish all of you out there a wonderful holiday time with your family and friends. Especially those of you battling a disease or injury or with a loved one in the same position, I wish you hope and peace in the coming year.

What I found most encouraging about this year for stem cells was an increase in dialogue between those who do not agree.

That may sound counterintuitive, but what it means to me is a better chance for advancing the field and building bridges. I’m realistic, but hopeful.

As I’ve said many times, it’s easy to talk to those with whom you agree, but harder and yet potentially more rewarding to talk with those with whom you do not agree. I’ve tried hard this year to do the latter and it has been rewarding. I realize it is a risk, but I believe it is one worth taking and I hope more folks take this approach in 2013. At the same time I believe in accountability and patient safety, so I’m not going to try to “make nice” with blatant bad actors in the stem cell field.

I expect 2013 will be an even more challenging and yet perhaps better year than 2012 for the stem cell field. It’s going to require a lot of hard work and perhaps even personal risks for those who care about making a difference, but for a while take a break and enjoy the holidays! Focus on the positive and the hope.

Back to work for me! Rest assured that over the holidays much of the stem cell research will continue. The stem cells will keep growing. Researchers will keep on taking care of them (many types require daily care) and the wheels of progress will keep spinning.

2 thoughts on “Some holiday reflections on stem cells and people


  1. Thanks for your recognizing a true dialogue with opposing view points can be critically important in this stem cell debate. Learning from each other, patients and professors, gives us a real chance for some forward motion! No one wants to see helpless patients fall through the stem cell cracks. So with a common goal in mind, “advocating for patients” we may be able to accomplish what everyone else just writes and talks about! Here’s to real solutions for patients in 2013! Thanks Paul! 🙂

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