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The impact of commercialisation on public perceptions of stem cell research: exploring differences across the use of induced pluripotent cells, human and animal embryos

Citation

Critchley, CR and Bruce, B and Farrugia, M, The impact of commercialisation on public perceptions of stem cell research: exploring differences across the use of induced pluripotent cells, human and animal embryos, Stem Cell Reviews, 9 pp. 541-554. ISSN 1550-8943 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Springer

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12015-013-9445-4

Abstract

The development of pluripotent cells that enable stem cell research (SCR) without destroying human embryos is now a leading priority for science. Public and political controversies associated with human embryonic SCR experienced in the recent past should be alleviated if scientists no longer need to harvest cells fromhuman embryos. This research suggests however additional issues needing attention in order to gain the public’s trust and support: the use of mouse embryos and the commercialisation of research. Using a representative sample of 2,800 Australians, and an experimental telephone survey design, this research compared levels and predictors of public support for stem cell research across three cell source conditions: human embryo (HE), mouse embryo (ME) and induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs). The results revealed that the public were significantly more likely to support research using iPSCs than HE and ME cells and public compared to private research (regardless of the cell source). There was no significant difference in support for HE compared to ME research, but the former was viewed as more likely to lead to accessible health care benefits and to be associated with more trustworthy scientists. The results of a multimediation structural equation model showed that the primary reason support for SCR significantly dropped in a private compared to public context (i.e., the commercialisation effect) was because public scientists were trusted more than private scientists. This effect was consistent across all three SCRmaterials, suggesting that the use of mouse embryos or even iPSCs will not reduce the publics’ concern with commercialised science. The implications these results have for public acceptance of stem cell and animal research are discussed in relation to possible solutions such as increasing public awareness of the regulation of animal research and benefit sharing.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:embryonic stem cell research, public attitudes, commercialisation of science, animal experimentation, trust in science
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law
Research Field:Law and Society
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the Law
Objective Field:Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
Author:Critchley, CR (Associate Professor Christine Critchley)
ID Code:91780
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2014-05-29
Last Modified:2014-12-19
Downloads:0

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