Each April a group of people committed to ending all use of animals for any purpose, including medical and scientific research, orchestrate events for a week they designate World Week for Animals in Laboratories (WWAIL). Among the primary objectives of WWAIL is to generate media coverage via picketing and protests. The event often culminates in … Continue reading World Week to Speak Up About Animal Research
I was recently invited to offer a moral justification for the scientific use of animals in medical research at the University of Wisconsin. After the talk we had over an hour of discussion where we saw everything from some thoughtful questions to nonsensical ramble. I presented an argument and I expected direct attacks on those arguments. … Continue reading What is your moral baseline?
Editors' note: Because the issue of starting assumptions remains in any dialogue about animal-based research, this post has been updated (December 2018) to include more recent anti-animal research organizations, and to provide up-to-date links. The importance and need for civil, open dialogue about the complex set of issues involved in use of animals is among … Continue reading Fair partners in dialogue: Starting assumptions matter and they should be spelled out
I would like to thank Prof. Robert Streiffer for taking the time to comment on an earlier post of mine regarding the ongoing dialogue on the ethics of animal research at UW-Madison. I had originally drafted an email to him with a reply, which is now reproduced below. I am sure the readers will forgive … Continue reading An Ongoing Conversation with Robert Streiffer on Science and Ethics
The UW-Madison recently hosted a conversation on the ethics of animal research between Rick Marolt, an opponent of animal research, and Robert Streiffer, a bioethicist at the university and member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Here are some of my thoughts on this interesting exchange. The good: Above all, it is good … Continue reading A Public Conversation on Animal Ethics: The good, the bad, and the ugly
Opponents of the use of animals in medical research have difficulty reconciling their claim that the scientific work is invalid and fraudulent with the fact that it has wide support among the scientific community and professional organizations. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that 93% of scientists favor the use of animals … Continue reading Conspiracy and greed
Prof. Lori Gruen gave an interesting talk this week at the University of Wisconsin at Madison on Animal Research and the Limits of Medicine. You can watch her presentation and discussion here. She appealed to those engaged in animal research to offer a more detailed explanation of how the cost and benefits of individual experiments … Continue reading Lori Gruen on the Ethical Justification of Animal Research Experiments
It was with the goal of sharing my personal views on the ethics of animal research that I recently published a manuscript on the topic. I also participated in two separate, public debates with animal rights philosophers Gary Francione and Nathan Nobis. Briefly, my position is based on the notion of graded moral status. I believe we owe moral consideration … Continue reading Speaking of Morality