On Monday July 20th, Tom Holder will address the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) at their 42nd Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. Holder will speak as part of the President’s Symposium on “Reproductive Policy and the Public Good” alongside Mary Wooley President of Research!America and John Peterson Myers founder of Environmental Health News.
No doubt Tom will report back on the conference next week. For the time being I leave some food for thought in the form of his abstract:
Animal research has been a divisive issue for many years, however much of the problem lies with a general mistrust of science by the public. This mistrust itself reflects the average person’s lack of understanding about how science works and the animal research issue is no exception. Many people are unable to see the connection between the animal experiments and the huge array of medical drugs that most people take for granted. If we are to convince people to support scientific activities such as animal research then we need to be more active in explaining how it affects the lives and welfare of the public. In order to improve public understanding on this issue we need those who are involved to speak up and become advocates for science. From the scientists doing the research to the animal care technicians whose sole priority is the welfare of the animals, we need people in the industry to explain the unspun truth of what goes on in research facilities and why it’s so important to all of us. Speaking of Research engages the scientific community in order to assist them in explaining animal research. The focus on “science for the non-scientist” aims to help researchers to find the best way to present the issue to those who may not find themselves directly immersed in it in everyday life. The public in Britain has united behind medical research and beaten animal rights extremism. If the US is to do the same then its scientists must stand up and publicly defend their research.