To: Colleagues and friends of David H L Bishop
From: Tom Monath
On March 14th, David Bishop was summarily fired from his post as Director,
Institute of Virology and Environmental Mictobiology, Natural Environmental
Research Council (NERC), OXford.
There was np breach of conduct, no basis in fact, no credible rationale for
his dismissal or for the precipitous way in which it was conducted.
No cause was given other than the need to:
"refocus the Institute to undertake basic and strategic research, relevant
to users' needs, aoimed at generating an understanding of the biodiversity
and functional roles of micobial pathogens in the environment."
For many years, David has promulgated research in these directions. It is utter
nonsense to suggest that the accomplishments of his institute have not met this
mission in the past or that he was incapable or unwilling to refocus specific
programs to meet new priorities.
David was not given a chance to discuss the isuues. He was ordered to vacate
his office within three days. Dr. Pat Nutall was named Acting Director of
His staff are in shock. His colleagues at Oxford University are incredulous.
Those of you who know David as a suberbly qulaified scientist with remarkable
ability to teach and lead will also be outraged by the fact of his dismissal
and by the way in which it was conducted.
If you wish to express your protest, you should act quickly. Please address
your letters to the individual directly responsible for David's dismissal:
Professor John Krebs
NERC, Polaris House
North Star Avenue
Wilts SN2 1EU
FAX (011) 44 1 793 411501