A contentious policy week on both sides of the border:
- In Canada, a meeting this week between the Canadian Association of University Teachers and Gary Goodyear, Canada’s Minister of Science and Technology descended into a shouting match over cuts to research funding announced in Canada’s 2009 federal budget.
- In the U.S., old controversies were stirred by the introduction of the Patent Reform Act of 2009(high-tech vs. biotech); by the Supreme Court’s ruling, in Wyeth v. Levine, that drug makers are not exempt from state tort liability (tort reform vs. plaintiffs’ bar); and by the nomination of Kathleen Sibelius to head HHS (pro-choice vs. pro-life).
- We even got a fresh cross-border controversy, with Obama’s call for the U.S. to allow importation of drugs from Canada.
Meanwhile, scientific progress refused to notice the controversies (or the recession):
- Several U.S. hospitals are taking steps to customize cancer treatment based on genetic profiling of tumors and have new tools to do it with; and
- Canadians were part of some amazing developments in making stem cells from adult tissue.