US President George W. Bush dismissed two members of his President's Council on Bioethics last Friday afternoon in a move that has been dubbed a “very ill-advised decision” by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) president Bettie Sue Masters.

Elizabeth Blackburn, a University of California, San Francisco, biochemist and former president of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), and William May, a medical ethicist and former head of the Maguire Center of Ethics at Southern Methodist University, received notification last Friday that their service on the council was no longer needed.

Blackburn told The Scientist that she received a call from the White House personnel office last Wednesday (February 28) requesting her to call them back on Friday afternoon. When she returned the call, she was notified of her dismissal. Although she and May frequently expressed views opposing those of the president and the...

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