I received a reply to my letter to the editors at Nature Neuroscience yesterday:
9th May 2007
Dear Dr. Nuckols,
Thank you for your letter to the editor of 3rd May. Having had a chance to consider it, we do not feel that this subject would be appropriate for our letters section. We think that these matters would be more appropriately discussed on the Nature Neuroscience blog, Action Potential, given the intense pressure for space on our pages. We have made the editorial freely available and posted links to the relevant original articles at http://blogs.nature.com/nn/actionpotential/2007/04/does_human_embryonic_stem_cell.html, and we invite you to post your response there.
Annette Markus, Ph.D.
I’ve posted my letter, but it’s awaiting the moderator’s approval.
Just in case, here’s that letter and my comment:
Frankly, what is the “scientific” justification for declaring any argument “anti-science”?
The editors suggested that I post my letter to them to this board. Here it is:
To the Editors:
I was surprised to read an unattributed editorial in the April, 2007 Nature Neuroscience, (“Shaky arguments against stem cells”) critical of the essay in First Things by Maureen Condic, Ph.D. While emphasizing the “conservative Roman Catholic” background of the ethics journal, she is accused of “spinning” science “to fit an anti-scientific purpose.” It appears that NN’s anonymous editors’ purpose is much less scientific that Dr. Condic’s unless we’re discussing political science.
There is no expression of disagreement about Dr. Condic’s facts or her credentials to comment on the subject of embryonic stem cells and it is noted that she does not engage in making “fundamental moral arguments.” Those anonymous authors seem most offended that she commented at all. The editorial, published without identifying the authors, reflects a deep bias and a “spin” of its own, discrediting your journal and “distorting the state of the field,” indeed.
Beverly B. Nuckols, MD
New Braunfels, Texas
(Edit 5/12/07 to fix a broken link)