US National Academy of Sciences president Bruce Alberts this week questioned the way the President's Council on Bioethics is proceeding in its advisory role. Alberts thinks that PCB chairman Leon Kass, a professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago, is tainting the credibility of the Council by espousing his strong personal views outside of Council deliberations, particularly on the matter of cloning.

"The commission is not supposed to be taking a position but presenting serious analysis to the President," Alberts told The Scientist. Alberts is particularly concerned about comments made by Kass in a January Op-Ed article. In it, Kass called for a ban on both reproductive and therapeutic cloning, claiming the two cannot and should not be distinguished. (L. Kass, "How One Clone Leads to Another," The New York Times, A23, Jan. 24, 2003).

Alberts' remarks came during the...

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