On 24 November 2009, President Obama announced the establishment of a new presidential council to advise him on bioethical matters, replacing the sometimes-controversial bioethics council that advised President George W. Bush.

The council under the Bush Administration was designed to be a “philosophically-leaning advisory group” and tended to focus on ideological issues, like the moral implications of biomedical technology, and the consequences of limiting scientific research. The Obama adminstrations’ new 13-member commission is chaired by Amy Gutmann, a political scientist, and the president of the University of Pennsylvania. The new council is widely expected to be more policy-oriented than its predecessor, and will tackle policy issues on intellectual property, the application of neuro- and robotic sciences, health care, and conflicts of interest in scientific research.


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