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Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Tracy Roof

Second Advisor

Dr. Linda Boland

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel Palazzolo


In less than ten years since human embryonic stem cells were first derived in a laboratory, the debate over the best national stem cell research policy has erupted into an issue that made the list of top priorities for a new Democratic House of Representatives in the 110th Congress. Embryonic stem cell research has definitively come on to the agenda and is an issue about which both the public and policymakers are concerned. Although it does not dominate the policy agenda and cannot compete with issues such as the war in Iraq, stem cell research resonates with the American people because it represents a conflict of values and a disagreement about our nation's fundamental ethics and morals. The competition between values that is at the heart of the debate is expressed through the clash of problem definitions and symbols used to define stem cell research policy.