Misattribution of an out of context statement by another person
- "We slow the progress of science today for all sorts of ethical reasons. Biomedicine could advance much faster if we abolished our rules on human experimentation in clinical trials, as Nazi researchers did."
This is a statement which is NOT by Nitze, but one improperly attributed to him at a few places on the internet. It is also quoted out of the proper context of even that of it's author, the short excerpt easily seeming part of an advocacy of "faster advance" by abolishing rules on human experimentation, when it is in fact part of an extensive statement advocating such rules, and arguing against attempts at faster advances without ethical considerations.
In discussions between Francis Fukuyama and Gregory Stock published in "Biotechnology: our slippery slope?", Prospect magazine (20 June 2002), Francis Fukuyama states:
- You are certainly right that if a future biotechnological technique proves safe, cheap, effective and highly desirable, governments would not be able to stop it and probably should not try. What I want, however, is not a ban on wide swathes of future technology, but strict regulation in light of the dangers outlined above.
Today we regulate biomedical technology all the time. People argue about where to draw various lines. But the argument that procedures as potentially unsafe as, say, germline engineering for enhancement purposes, cannot in principle be regulated has no basis in past experience.
We slow the progress of science today for all sorts of ethical reasons. Biomedicine could advance faster if we abolished our rules on human experimentation, as Nazi researchers did, and allowed doctors to inject infectious substances into their subjects. We enforce rules permitting the therapeutic use of drugs like Ritalin, while prohibiting their use for enhancement or entertainment.
The argument that these technologies will move to more favourable places if they are banned in the US may or may not carry weight; it all depends on what they are and what the purpose of the regulation is.
Fukayama's arguments FOR ethical regulations of biotechnologies are far more extensively elaborated, but I quote only enough to clearly indicate that his statement is unfortunately being quoted out of its proper context, as well as being falsely attributed to Nitze, perhaps originally because of some lazy misreading of citations involving Fukayama having been the Director of the International Development Program of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. ~ 09:00, 17 January 2021 (UTC) + tweaks