It's the Melissa Hart story you probably DIDN'T see on local TV. It happened a few days ago.
Luckily the C-Span cameras captured the event and luckier still CrooksandLiars has the clip.
The setting: The floor of the United States House of Representatives. There's a discussion going on about Bush's recent veto of the stem cell bill. And the Representative Melissa Hart (with talent on loan from God) steps up to the mic and shows her scientific literacy:
Hart:I thank the gentleman from Ohio for alloting me time to speak in favor of sustaining the President’s veto. It’s been a year since this House passed the Castle-Degette bill. In that year, science–not Hollywood–has helped us to debunk the myth of a promise for embryonic stem cell research. Hollywood supports it. Science created fraudulent experiments. Before last year’s vote, they made arguments supporting embryonic stem cell research. They were coming fast and furious from our colleagues. During the debate in the Senate, the same arguments came. They cited Dr. Hwang Woo-suk of South Korea and his research. Supporters of his research said that he had cloned a human embryo; that he had found a way to produce embryonic stem cell lines that could be done routinely and efficiently. What happened later?
All of his research was debunked. The ethics of his research were called into question. It was revealed that his publications were faked, his experiments were unsuccessful, and the treatment of their egg donors as ethically grossly appalling. Mr. Speaker, I urge us to reject embryonic stem cell research as the science is not there. Since it is successful in treating patients using adult stem cells, and cord blood stem cells which we agreed to fund and the President signed and I believe we should support that and I yield back.
At which point Diana DeGetter (D-Colo) educates our Missy:
Of course the gentle-lady from Pennsylvania refers to the South Korea experiment which was not embryonic stem cell research rather it was somatic cell nuclear transfer, not at issue today…
The interesting thing to note is how much spinning Missy was doing. As background, let's take a look at the NYTimes' summary of Dr Hwang Woo Suk's problems:
Dr. Hwang Woo Suk published a paper in the journal Science that claimed his team had successfully obtained stem cells from cloned human embryos. But allegations from co-workers that he had falsified data followed and he later resigned from Seoul National University. A university panel investigated Dr. Hwang's results and announced that he had fabricated data. News about Hwang Woo Suk, including commentary and archival articles, published in The New York Times appears below.
See that? He got into trouble because he fabricated the data about how he obtained the stem cells. This, obviously, has nothing to do with stem cell research itself.
And Missy let the world know that she didn't know the difference.
Then there's the addition of "Hollywood." Honestly I don't know what the heck that's all about. "science not Hollywood has helped us debunk the myth of the promise of embryonic stem cell research"?? When did Hollywood get into the story?