Why did the EU and US court systems define “research” differently?
In a recent commentary, Baker Institute science and technology policy experts described two international court cases that aimed to define “research” — and that ultimately arrived at two different answers. “What makes this interesting is that the courts’ definition of ‘research’ was based on politics — what the court wanted the end result to be,” said Kirstin Matthews, the institute’s fellow in science and technology policy. To reach a decision prohibiting human embryonic stem cell (hESC) patents, the EU court ruled that “research” occurs in a continuum. To reach a decision supporting federal funding of stem cell research, the U.S. court ruled that “research” involves a specific project.
Kirstin R.W. Matthews, Maude Rowland Cuchiara December 1, 2013