This letter records the widespread concern of many virologists, in this country and abroad. We see four areas of adverse consequence:
1. The career of an eminent British scientist, who has a long history of achievement and service, has been blighted.
2. The management procedures in a publicly funded research organisation are called into question.
3. The future of a leading research centre of international standing has suddenly been put under a cloud.
4. Internationally, the credibility of scientific institutions in the UK is being damaged.
We hope the NERC will respond to these concerns with a clear statement that Professor Bishop is not guilty of any misconduct, and that this incident will not serve as a precedent for future reorganisation strategies within publicly funded research organisations.
M. A. MCCRAE
Virus Group Committee
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Warwick