In case you missed it, Jeffrey M. Drazen, editor of the renowned New England Journal of Medicine, published an editorial last week calling for papers on stem-cell research, and pleading with Congress to relax its position on the subject. In an interview about the piece, Drazen said: "[w]e wanted to go on record on this. At this point, stem cell research technology is likely to be developed outside the US, and we’re going to be missing out on that technical know-how. The best and the brightest will be going out of the country to do this sort of work. We would hope that people will understand that you can’t legislate away scientific progress."
As an initial matter, yes, in fact, we can and have legislated away so-called "scientific progress," but the bigger question, it seems to me, is whether the U.S. should care that certain scientists might leave to pursue certain kinds of research.