On March 18, 2011, the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research held a Strategy Summit in Newark, New Jersey. Academic researchers, industry scientists and individuals from the animal research regulatory programs gathered to share insights and perspectives on the challenges to animal-based research posed by the activities of animal rights activists and extremists across the country. Speaking of Research and Pro-Test for Science were represented by Professor J. David Jentsch, who emphasized the need for coordinated, multi-dimensional research advocacy efforts by the diverse members of the scientific community in his presentation: “Facing the Threats: A Community Response”.
Specifically, he emphasized the notion that the scientific community must immediately:
• Partner with, rather than delegate to, national advocacy groups
• Play an active, unwavering role in promoting and defending science and scientists
• And, draw upon its diverse and plural village in order to succeed…
He reviewed a variety of methods that individuals can use to effectively advocate for the work of the scientific community, including blogging, working with media outlets to discuss science, scientists and scientific progress and working with scientific societies, charities and patient advocacy groups. Collectively, these efforts are necessary in order to ensure that the public is aware of the potential cost of disruptions to scientific and medical progress if animal research were to be further restricted or even ended.
But it doesn’t end there: other speakers emphasized the importance of educational efforts at every level – from K-12 students to law schools where animal rights law is an emerging “academic discipline”. Fortunately, there are many dedicated science teachers out there – across the nation – who are instilling a passion for learning through research in children. If they continue their efforts, the next generation of committed and brilliant scientists and researchers is assured.