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Winning stem cell poems pulled

11 October 2010
Appeared in BioNews 579

Stem cells. Poetry. Two terms seldom used together. The winning entries in a competition held by California's stem cell funding body to celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day were published last Wednesday. By Friday, the winning poems had been pulled from the website because the language of one poem: 'introduces a religious element that we now realise was offensive to some people' (the poems can be read here).

Two poems jointly won the prize. First place was shared jointly by Andy Levy, a software marketer from Woodinville Wash writing in honour of his daughter who has type-one diabetes, and Tyson Anderson, a US Army linguist from Tampa Florida, who wants to 'return to [his] roots in Bio'. Whether the four finalists will still receive a framed picture of a stem cell of their choice remains uncertain.

The panel judging the poems about stem cells and stem cell science were: Don Reed, co-chair of Californians for Cures and vice president of public policy for the Americans for Cures Foundation; Margaret Hermes, a poet with an MA from Boston University and a PhD from Indiana University; and finally California Institute for Regenerative Medicine chief communications officer, Don Gibbons. There were 18 competition entries, according to the Los Angeles Times.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Stem Cell Awareness Day Poetry Contest Winners Announced
Californian Institute of Regenerative Medicine |  6 October 2010
Stem cell poetry contest winners
USA Today |  7 October 2010
Stem cells are red, violets are blue...
Los Angeles Times |  7 October 2010
UPDATE -- Stem Cell Awareness Day Poetry Contest Winners Announced
CIRM |  8 October 2010
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