Tag Archives: march

Pro-Test for Science – April 8th 2010

Dear Friends,

In 2009, Pro-Test for Science held an historic rally on the UCLA campus; this event brought over 700 people onto the streets in support of the scientists and researchers who carry out crucial medical research using laboratory animals. Animal research continues to play a vital part in the development of scientific knowledge and modern treatments for human disease.

Pro-Test for Science is once again taking to the streets for this all-important cause; with that in mind, we are calling upon you to stand together with other members of the community in supporting the crucial efforts of researchers on this campus and to condemn those who try to block medical progress with threats, harassment and intimidation tactics.
This rally, on the UCLA campus seeks to:

  • Communicate a better understanding about animal research to the public, its importance, and the what we all stand to lose if such work were to stop.
  • Celebrate the successes of animal research in the development of treatments for disease, new diagnostic procedures/instruments, and surgical techniques.
  • Defend the rights of researchers to pursue their work free from harassment and intimidation.

The rally will begin on Thursday April 8th at 11:30 AM, on the north-east corner of Westwood Blvd. and Le Conte Ave., which will be followed by a march to Wilson Plaza, where members of the UCLA family and representatives from the National Institutes of Health will speak to the incredible advances in human health and welfare that have come from animal research.

Please check the news section and www.pro-test-for-science.org regularly for updates and further communications.

Join us to make this second rally at UCLA an unprecedented event in scientific activism!

Pro-Test for Science Committee

David Jentsch, Dario Ringach, Tom Holder, Lynn Fairbanks, Kathy Wadsworth, Megan Wyeth, Jennifer Perkins

The 2009 Pro-Test for Science rally was a huge success

UCLA Pro-Test … in 3 minutes (video)

I recently found a second video of the UCLA Pro-Test in April 2009 (in addition to the 1 minute video) which we hadn’t previously put up.

This video was produced by FPS productions and covers more aspects of the rally than the 1 minute version (surprisingly).

The video includes clips of committee members Prof. David Jentsch, and Tom Holder, as well as Scott Waugh (Executive Vice Chancellor Provost for UCLA), Gerald Levey (Dean of the Geffen School of Medicine).


UCLA Pro-Test … in 1 minute (YouTube)!

No it’s not the reduced Shakespeare company, it’s the first of a handful of videos which UCLA Pro-Test is producing (with the help of FPS Productions) about the successful rally on April 22nd.

Now for everyone with a YouTube account, we need your help to get this video seen by as many people as possible. So favourite the video, rate it 5*s and then share it with your friends.

YouTube has been a hugely important tool for organizations to get their messages across, and Speaking of Research is no exception, with our “Why we need animals in research video“. So help us spread the message.



UCLA Pro-Test – Post-rally Blog Coverage


Well we’ve covered video coverage and print coverage of the Pro-Test rally, now onto the blogs.

Before we get too deep into the UCLA Pro-Test coverage, many of the blogs, including the highly-read Pharyngula blog, have talked about the poll attached to the LA Times article. The poll has (somewhat suspiciously for both sides) attracted over 150,000 votes, with the Pro-Testers currently leading this simplistic dichotomy (see Adventure in Ethics and Science blog on this) by around 60%.  So in the words of PZ Myers “please, go forth and destroy this pointless metric”.

Respectful Insolence wrote a piece reviewing the various media coverage as well as offering his own thoughts:

For too long, animal rights extremists have had the public relations stage virtually to themselves, and this Pro-Test Rally was an excellent demonstration of what scientists can do when they refuse to be cowed. Remember, this is about animal welfare, but not animal rights. Animal welfare. Scientists are very much concerned with animal welfare, and animal research is a highly regulated endeavor.

The Pro-Test March

Nick Anthis’s Scientific Activist blog also wrote a fantastic and comprehensive report of the rally coverage.

By all accounts, yesterday’s UCLA Pro-Test rally in support of animal research was a great success. Up to 800 people showed up for the Pro-Test rally, but only 30-40 people showed up for a concurrent anti-research rally.

Science Journal’s blog (which we mentioned before but was so good I’m mentioning it again) gave some of the best coverage of the issue:

The organizers of today’s Pro-Test rally at the University of California, Los Angeles, say it succeeded beyond their hopes. Hundreds of people—many of them students and postdocs—came out to show their support for biomedical research.

The Pharyngula blog announced “I am Pro-Test”. Drug Monkey mentioned some video coverage among his two posts on the issue, and Neurotopia v. 2.0 showed their excitment about the rally.

So that’s the coverage all wrapped up, if you know of any more leave a comment.



Last Call – Join the UCLA Pro-Test rally

Today’s the day! With 70F weather expected there’s no excuse not to march for science, reason and medical progress at the UCLA Pro-Test Rally. Listen to speeches from JohnYoung (AMP Chairman), Scott Waugh (Executive Vice Chancellor of UCLA), Tom Holder (founder of Speaking of Research) and David Jentsch (UCLA Pro-Test founder) among others.

Come to the corner of Westwood and Le Conte for 11:30am today (see parking).

Over 100 people have signed their support for the cause which promises to be a historic event!  The committee has come out into the public., and letters of support have come from all over, including the Society for Neuroscience.

So bring your friends, your family and your colleagues and lets’ make this the day in which California said no to animal rights extremism.


Tom Holder

Why are we marching?

At a banner making session today (Monday) I decided to ask a few people why they were planning on attending Wednesday’s rally. Here are a handful of responses I got:

My dad survived leukaemia, my mum survived ovarian cancer, all thanks to chemotherapy – which was developed in animals. Everyone knows at least one person who’s been affected by cancer, and novel treatments need to be developed and require animals for this process.
– Stephanie Groman

I’m going to the rally because I’m tired of no one standing up for us, and letting the animal rights activists walk all over us, when we’re actually benefiting society.
– Sarah Sterlace, MA, UCLA

Without the research we are turning our backs on the thousands of veterans returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder. We work on novel treatments for this disorder using rat models. We treat people who have already been through a serious trauma and it doesn’t seem right that their trauma continues because animal rights activists scare researchers off their work.
– Moriel Zelikowsky, UCLA

Because those who make scientific advances should not have to live in fear.
– Melissa Flesher

As a human researcher I recognize the importance of using animals in research and I’m here to support my colleagues against the deplorable acts of violence that have plagued scientists everywhere. My research directly benefits from the work done by my colleagues who research using animals.
– Fred Sabb, Assistant Professor Psychiatry, UCLA

It’s about time that scientists stand up and speak out in support of biomedical research. I hope students and scientists from all academic departments across UCLA and its neighbouring universities come to support us as we march for the future of medical progress.
– Andrew Poulos

These responses are boosted by scientists from all across the US who have signed their support for UCLA researchers (still time to sign it). So we expect to see you at the junction of Le Conte and Westwood, at the UCLA campus, at 11:30am Wednesday April 22nd 2009 – a day that may change the direction of the animal research debate in the US.

Check out the UCLA Pro-Test page to see the latest updates including speaker lists, directions and schedule.


Tom Holder

p.s. Check out the UCLA Pro-Test Facebook group (now well over 500 members) to show your support for medical research, and participate in some healthy debate from the occasional animal rights activist who took a wrong turn on the internet.