The ethics and value of responsible animal research

The NY Times recently published an opinion piece from a retired Professor who states his belief that research with non-human primates is unethical. This former scientist, whose contributions to the study of primate behavior and neuroscience were never very significant, now turns – in the twilight of his slowly fading career – to cast aspersions on the work of others.

His position, better published in a newspaper than in a scientific journal because of its free and easy treatment of the truth, is a set of distortions & extreme views that must not be allowed on linger on pages of our media or go unanswered. Why? Because this is how lies become truth.

It is essential the the scientific counterpoint gets wide dissemination. Points of view like Gluck’s are not jokes. They are very serious threats to public understanding of science, and we scientists must set the record straight.

Speaking of Research

This post, signed by over 90 scientists, is in response to an article published 09/04/16 in the New York Times titled: “Second thoughts of an animal researcher.” 

The ethics and value of responsible animal research

Last week we learned that in the first decade since its introduction the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine has cut the rate of cervical cancer by half. Experts estimate that the vaccine could eradicate cancer caused by the virus within the next 40 years. This is indeed good news, as today cervical cancer kills about 250,000 women every year.

Such breakthroughs are the result of decades of research that typically begin with the study of basic mechanisms of cancer in-vitro, the development of disease models and therapies in animals, and their translation to humans. In the particular case of the HPV vaccine rabbits, mice, cattle and human volunteers were used in the research dating…

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