CNN – Researchers Standing up to Activists

“Researchers to animal-rights activists: We’re not afraid”

This is the sort of CNN headline we need to hear more about. The story covers the actions of two SR committee members, David Jentsch and Dario Ringach, who recently wrote a top-rated journal article in the Journal of Neuroscience. Also mentioned is Professor Jeffrey Kordower’s article in the same journal. Ringach gets to the heart of the problem when he says:

Scientists bear part of the responsibility for not having explained to the public why their work is important

However the top quote of the article goes to Society for Neuroscience President Thomas J. Carew, who said:

Responsible animal research has played a vital role in nearly every major medical advance of the last century, from heart disease to polio, and is essential for future advances as well,” he said in a written statement. “Today, it is unacceptable that, in the pursuit of better health and understanding of disease, researchers, their families and their communities face violence and intimidation by extremists.

It is quotes like this that are vital to get into the mainstream news if we are to challenge the public misconceptions about animal research. The article goes on to mention the Pro-Test Petition:

The outspoken researchers are not alone. More than 10,000 people — many of them scientists — have signed a “Pro-Test Petition” that credits animal research with having “contributed … to major advances in the length and quality of our lives.”

It adds that “violence, intimidation and harassment of scientists and others involved in animal research is neither a legitimate means of protest, nor morally justified.”

This is generally been a very positive article to have on CNN – we urge other scientists to following in Jentsch, Rinach and Kordower’s footsteps and stand up publicly in support of animal research.


Tom Holder