TWO DOZEN YEARS EARLIER
"Do you have any idea what you’ve jeopardized—beyond your
graduating ever from this hallowed institution? Our primary source of funding, thanks to you,
is now seriously at risk. This university has multiple contracts with the
Federal Government. This department is heavily dependent on US grants.
With stem cell research limited as it is by the current administration, any
lapse in protocol could spell doom for several of our undertakings... Wipe that
smirk from your face, young man, or in addition to your suspension, I’ll have you
jailed! Larceny is a crime, punishable by imprisonment. Those
blastocysts you stole—have been stealing for months—belong to MIT. And don’t
tell me we were throwing them away so you merely were recycling. Potentially,
those were viable human beings, destruction and disposal of whom were to
follow strict guidelines—which you, evidently, ignored and, by said
ignorance profited. How much were you paid per innocent life? I see here, in
your record, you have a full
scholarship. In fact, you’re drawing an intern’s salary at Brigham And Women’s
Hospital. Greed, then, was your motive? I wish that were the case, because,
frankly, I suspect something far more nefarious—given what I’ve been told about
your atheistic attitude, given what I have read in your proposed dissertation.
Let me quote:
Although a recently published
breakthrough in South Korea has given fresh impetus to the trend toward
tailoring gene therapies, the manufacture of cells and tissues on a case-by-case basis
will never be a commercially viable enterprise. The future of bioengineering is
in universal donors.
of you. Or should I say, how patriotic? Cashing in on science is the
American way. Of more concern than your avid capitalism, however, is this little
gem of Third-Reich reasoning. Again I quote:
If Mankind has to wait for
Evolution to make improvements, ours will be a species more endangered than
those we deem expendable. Man, to save himself, must become his own Creator.
Presumptuousness, thy name is Stuyvesant Fink..."
... who sits in the
Dean’s office without comment, advised by a fellow student to ride out the
quietly, to resist, no matter the provocation, excuses in self-defense; better to declare contest; better to beg for mercy with taciturn humility
than to instigate expulsion, or prosecution—advice
that Stuyvesant Fink, at least on the surface, sees fit
"Since when is Playing God on
our PhD curriculum? Reproductive Cloning—your
underlying purpose—strays beyond the bounds of what our Board considers ethical, as opposed to moral;
ours is not a policy founded on State-sponsored piety; my own invocation of
Deity was meant to be metaphorical."
slightly, sensing some subliminal disadvantage, the Dean detects defiance, no
doubt recalcitrance in Mr. Fink's demeanour, the student's subtext, in lieu of
humiliation, smacking of misplaced pride.
"Most distressing of all are rumours about your off-campus laboratory—equipped,
it is conjectured, through ill-gotten gains, and bent on lines of inquiry
patently disreputable. If hearsay is confirmed, your ouster is guaranteed."