The most important thing you can do to promote stem cell research is educate yourself about the work. Those opposed to stem cell research circulate myths about the ethics of the work and about the superiority of other avenues of research. Know how to counter those arguments with facts.
You can learn about stem cell research through our Stem Cell Basics. We've also created some answers to the most common misconceptions about the work. In addition, you can follow what's new in stem cell research through our research blog.
- Learn about the research with our Stem Cell Basics
- Learn how to answer common misconceptions about stem cell research
- Follow new research results on our blog CIRMResearch
People living with or caring for those with debilitating diseases understand why it is so critical that we find new cures. These people are the best advocates for funding stem cell research and for good state and federal laws to promote the research. If you support stem cell research, contact your local disease association chapter and offer to share resources on stem cell research. You can also contact your chamber of commerce or other community groups to help educate people about the value of the research and the value of CIRM for the state of California. Many of the links on this page will take you to resources you can share. If you want additional help, contact CIRM: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Industry professionals, professors, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates with knowledge of regenerative medicine or biotechnology can educate high schoolers across California about stem cell research. You can submit your own materials for teachers to use, present in classrooms using existing CIRM-developed materials, or start a Stem Cell Education Outreach Program.
- Learn more about how to get involved in stem cell education
- Download prepared powerpoint presentations on stem cell research
Documents you can use
We have printable documents you can take to meetings or events to explain CIRM's progress and the value of stem cell research. We also have stem cell images, logos and background materials that you can use to educate other people.
If you see good, well balanced stories about stem cell research go online and post congratulations to the publisher. Most newspapers and magazines allow comments to stories online. While you are there, correct people who have posted eroneous information.
When you see inaccurate stories about stem cell research, write a correction in the comments section and email the reporter directly. Many publications list the reporter's email address online. This is the best way of correcting common misconceptions such as the idea that embryonic stem cells come from aborted fetuses (they don't) or that embryonic stem cells are no longer needed (they are).
Write your legislators
Let them know that you support good regulations for stem cell research like those proposed by the National Academy of Science and CIRM. Let them know that you want to see new cures for our most devastating diseases.
Know what's happening with stem cell policies
The U.S. policies regarding funding for human embryonic stem cell research have gone through dynamic changes over the past decade. Here are a few ways you can stay informed about new policies at the federal level:
Many states have policies regarding stem cell research -- some promoting the research and others prohibiting it. The Interstate Alliance on Stem Cell Research has a list of states with stem cell research programs.
Many international groups fund or promote stem cell research within the countries. The NIH maintains a list of those organizations:
We receive many requests from people who are interested in donating tissue to stem cell research. CIRM does not directly accept tissue donations. We fund stem cell research but do not run labs of our own that would use tissue samples. However, institutes around the state are doing work that could benefit from donated samples, such as embryos, eggs, and sperm. If you are interested in donation you can look at our list of grantee institutions to find an organization carrying out stem cell research near you. If you are in the San Francisco area you might want to read about the tissue donation program at the University of California San Francisco. Also, read about the CIRM-funded Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Initiative.
You can also sign up to be a bone marrow donor. Bone marrow contains blood-forming stem cells that can regenerate the blood or immune system of someone who has had cancer or is undergoing bone marrow transplant for other illnesses. Sign up to donate through the National Marrow Donor Program.
The iPSC Initiative is a major effort of California's stem cell agency. The goal: to create a collection of stem cells developed from thousands of individuals like you. Collected into a cell bank, the stem cells will represent a wide range of diseases and conditions such as heart, lung, liver, eye disease, Alzheimer's disease and childhood neurological disorders like autism. These banked stem cells will be made available to researchers around the world. Such a resource will spur large-scale research that cannot be accomplished by a single laboratory working in isolation.
- Read the iPSC Initiative brochure for more information
- Read our blog and press release about the initiative