On November 28, 2001, President Bush gave Executive Order
13237, establishing The President's Council on Bioethics. The Order
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Establishment. There is established the President's Council
on Bioethics (the "Council").
Section 2. Mission.
a.The Council shall advise the President on bioethical issues that
may emerge as a consequence of advances in biomedical science and technology.
In connection with its advisory role, the mission of the Council includes
the following functions:
1.to undertake fundamental inquiry into the human and moral significance
of developments in biomedical and behavioral science and technology;
2.to explore specific ethical and policy questions related to these
3.to provide a forum for a national discussion of bioethical issues;
4.to facilitate a greater understanding of bioethical issues; and
5.to explore possibilities for useful international collaboration on
The 18 members of The Council were named on January 16, 2002, just
before this semester began. The 12 members of the Bio 321 class on
Cloning each took on the persona of one of the Council members, reading
the transcripts of the meetings of the Council, which are available
on the website www.bioethics.gov. On April 30, 2002, these students
represented the positions of their council members in a mock debate
in front of Biology 200: How Organisms Develop (second-semester introductory
biology, 130 first-year students).
For more on this event, you may read
List of Council members, and the students who played them
Survey prepared by Bio 321 and given to the intro students before
the panel discussion
Fink, R.D. 2002. Cloning, stem cells, and the current national debate:
Incorporating ethics in a large introductory biology course. Cell Biology
The website for the President's Council on Bioethics
* The members of Bio 321 in Spring 2003 did a similar event, presenting
a panel discussion to the members of Bio 200. To see the students and
who they played from this iteration of the mock debate, click HERE.