As the UK justice system convicts and sentences some of the last extremists, the US situation continues to worsen. Attacks on researchers at UCLA have been on the increase over the past year, and there is little sign of scientists and academic institutions standing up to defend the life-saving medical research they carry out.
There are some signs that local governments are beginning to take the issue seriously, with the arrest of four animal rights activists in Santa Cruz. Interestingly two of the accused were former students of UC Santa Cruz, which suggests that the university still has a long way to go in explaining to its students the crucial importance of the research that it carries out. When activists target a university, the academic community can either come together to defend it, or turn against its own institution (forming animal rights groups on campus etc.). Unless universities do more to educate their own students and encourage their own scientists to speak up, then the student community will simply be subjected to the onesided propaganda of the activists – a surefire way of turning them against their college.