Fetal Pain Expert To Advise U.S. Science Policy

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Even those of us who find themselves glued to the national news occasionally miss a story worth mentioning. A case in point: The November 2018 appointment of Dr. Maureen L. Condic, an associate professor at the University of Utah, to the National Science Board. She will serve for the next six years. (HT to Jonathan Lange at The Federalist for bringing this to my attention in his excellent recent blog post on embryo adoption.)

The appointment is significant for embryo adoption advocates because Dr. Condic has long spoken publicly on the importance of treating with dignity babies in the womb—even at their earliest stages of development. On the issue of fetal pain, she has been quoted in the Deseret News as saying, “There is sufficient uncertainty to warrant giving the fetus the benefit of the doubt."

In her role on the federal science board, Dr. Condic will work with other scientists to make important decisions, including:

  • Guiding scientific policies of the $7.8 billion National Science Foundation, which funds nearly 12,000 research awards annually

  • Advising Congress and President Donald Trump on the state of scientific and technological progress in the U.S.

It is heartening that among the board’s prominent scientists—including experts in agriculture, renewable energy, outer space and biotechnology—is a seasoned bioethicist who understands progress isn’t simply a matter of pushing the envelope but setting appropriate boundaries that honor the sanctity of human life.