Below is a report of a talk given by Dr. Arnold L. Goldman, a private practise vet who offered to give a talk about animal research at a school on behalf of Speaking of Research. SR regularly receives requests by students and teachers to talk to scientists, and we rely on the efforts of scientists to volunteer some of their time to give these talks. The US is a big place, and the more people offering to give talks, the better coverage we have. If you would be willing to be contacted in the future about giving a talk at a local school then please email firstname.lastname@example.org, giving your contact details and your location.
On Thursday, April 8, 2010, the same day as the Pro-Test for Science rally at UCLA, Dr. Arnold L. Goldman, a veterinarian from Canton, CT, gave a presentation on behalf of Speaking of Research, to 75 high school seniors in North Stonington, CT. Dr. Goldman’s presentation was intended as a counterpoint to the anti-research stance of animal rights groups and was the concluding element of a senior project undertaken by senior Meredith Milligan of Wheeler High School in North Stonington.
Speaking after Ms. Stefanie Clark, a youth programs coordinator for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Dr. Goldman’s presentation successfully countered HSUS arguments against biomedical research in animals. While the HSUS presentation focused on covertly obtained video footage of primates in captivity obviously intended to shock the young audience, as well as failing to distinguish product safety testing from biomedical research, Dr. Goldman presented a balanced overview.
Using information provided by Speaking of Research, Americans for Medical Progress and the American Physiological Society, as well as his own materials, Dr. Goldman detailed the facts about biomedical research in animals. His presentation included a discussion of the moral and ethical dilemmas that exist in animal research, the actual numbers of animals used, the efforts of scientists to reduce those numbers, the myth that animal research is currently replacable, and the myth that animal data is not relevant to humans.
Dr. Goldman also went into detail about a personal experience with development of a vaccine for canine melanoma, a deadly and previously untreatable cancer, which involved one of his patients. This vaccine, originally developed using mouse DNA, eventually underwent successful clinical trials in dogs, including Dr. Goldman’s patient. The dog lived almost 2000 days beyond the expected and died from an unrelated problem. Thereafter, the vaccine’s amazing success led to clinical trials in people with melanoma, where similar success has also been achieved. The students appeared to grasp the truth that while animals used in research should be treated with respect, there is a duty to society to strive to cure disease and that these cures may help animals as well as people.
Dr. Goldman is in private practice and is also a director of Americans For Medical Progress, pro-research educational non-profit.
Speaking of Research thank Dr. Goldman for putting his time into this important cause, and urge more scientists to contact us offering to help (it is luck of the draw when we are invited to speak in schools, and where those schools will be).