California made a big splash last year when it passed Prop. 71, which called for distributing $3,000,000,000 in bond-backed funds for stem cell research over the next 10 years. One of the first tasks the board that was chosen to run the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine had to face was picking a home. On Friday, San Francisco was officially announced as the future home for the Institute.
What I love about the NY Times article about the announcement is that it's incredibly brief, and notes that "[w]ith its international standing and spectacular views, San Francisco had been the early front-runner in an initial field of 10 cities that last week was narrowed to the four finalists." As if the most urgent consideration in the process was which city was the most picturesque (having lived and traveled all over California, if that really was the criteria, they'd likely have chosen Santa Barbara, Napa or Tahoe instead).
As might be expected, the SF Chronicle provided a little more meat to its readers about the announcement (apparently the Times figures its readers don't really care about the topic). It looks like it really was just a symbolic, beauty-pageant sort of decision, though, because the headquarters will really be more for administration than anything else, and the packages presented by the cities had more to do with discounts on office space than on the proximity and access to labs and research facilities.