Message on stem cells from Scotland reminds us what WWW stands for

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Thanks to Caroline Carr-Locke of Scotland for reminding me that the World Wide Web is more real than imaginary.

At 1:18 p.m. Saturday, I was eating lunch at a conference in the shiny new journalism building at the University of Maryland College Park when Caroline got through to my Blackberry. Kevin Klose, the dean of the journalism school, had just finished a talk about the impact of change on all our lives, particularly technological change represented by his own Blackberry. He said these tools enhanced the possibilities for story-telling for journalists, such as those students at this awards luncheon for the Society of Professional Journalists.

Saturday morning, had posted a story about the actions of the House Appropriations Committee on the governor’s budget, including the restoration of $6 million in funding for stem cell research the Senate had cut.

Google directed Caroline to this story on our new Website about Maryland government and politics. We don’t get a lot of hits from Scotland, given our focus. Here’s what she had to say (with some punctuation thrown in):

“Come on USA — get ahead in stem cells and you will be leading the world and saving your people vast medical bills. Every day I read Google Alert news on stem cells. I live in Scotland and you would think the scientists are doing stem cell research in the garden shed as you hardly hear anything about it in UK.

I have a horrible illness called Idiopathic Axonal Peripheral Neuropathy. There is no research treatment or cure and the doctor said it will be DECADES before they can help me. I am hoping the USA will come up with something

COME ON USA. STOP HUFFING and PUFFING with STEM cells. You can do it and make money too.”

Many people like Caroline care passionately about stem cell research. They care about its success for themselves and their loved ones; others also care about its use of human embryos.

Thanks, Caroline, for reminding me of all the people I’ve never met who really do care about what happens at the State House.

–Len Lazarick