Report

Special Report: Embryonic Stem Cell Research

  • July 17, 2008

Embryonic stem cell research, which uses special cells found in three- to five-day-old human embryos to seek cures for a host of chronic diseases, has sparked a major moral and political debate in the United States.

These resouces on the Web site of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life give an overview of the stem cell debate in America, examine the science behind stem cell technology and look at public opinion trends.

Overview
Stem Cell Research at the Crossroads of Religion and Politics 
Embryonic stem cell research, which uses special cells found in three- to five-day-old human embryos to seek cures for a host of chronic diseases, has sparked a major moral and political debate in the United States.

Backgrounder
The Science Behind Stem Cell Research
Stem cells, the so-called "building blocks of nature," can literally transform into any other type of cell in the body, making them potentially invaluable in treating many diseases and injuries.

Public Opinion
Declining Majority of Americans Favor Embryonic Stem Cell Research
While a majority of the American public still favors embryonic stem cell research, surveys by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press show that the size of this majority has declined somewhat in recent years.

Q&As: Two Perspectives on Embryonic Stem Cell Research
To explore arguments for and against stem cell research, Senior Research Fellow David Masci interviewed Yuval Levin of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Jonathan Moreno of the University of Pennsylvania and Center for American Progress.

Yuval Levin: The Case Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research
"The argument at the heart of the embryonic stem cell debate is the argument about human equality."

Jonathan Moreno: The Case For Embryonic Stem Cell Research
"We are at the stage of what the theologians and philosophers call 'weighing and balancing.'"

International
Stem Cell Research Around the World
The United States is only one of many countries playing an important role in stem cell research. In the last decade, European and Asian countries have become leading centers for the study of stem cells and their possible therapeutic uses.

Religion & Politics '08
Candidate Comparison: Stem Cell Research
Compare how John McCain and Barack Obama stand on the issue of stem cell research.

Religious groups' views
Religious Groups' Official Positions on Stem Cell Research
A breakdown of 17 major religious groups' views on the stem cell research issue.

Quotes
Quotes on Stem Cell Research from Political, Religious and Other Prominent Figures