Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for April, 2009

As captured in SprogCast #7, the Free-Ride offspring consider Mike Dunford’s Earth Day resolutions meme. We discover that a kid’s sense of scale is kind of different from a grown-up’s. You can grab the mp3 here. The approximate transcript of the conversation follows.

Framing poll questions.

Remember earlier this week when we were discussing some of the positions people might hold with respect to the use of animals in research? These included animal rights positions, which held that animals have inherent rights not to have their bodies transgressed (or that, by virtue of their capacity to suffer, they have rights not…

In this post, it’s time to pull back from the specific kinds of dialogue blockers we’ve been examining (here, here, here, here, here, and here) to start to consider other ways we might get around them. Here, I want to start with some insightful remarks from a friend of mine, philosopher Vance Ricks: When you…

The Urban Homestead: Your guide to self-sufficient living in the heart of the city. by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen Port Townsend, WA: Process Media 2008 In honor of Earth Day, here’s a brief review of a fascinating book about making your lifestyle more sustainable. While some friends of the blog jokingly refer to this…

So far in this series, we’ve talked about ways that attempts to have a dialogue about animal research can be frustrated by inability to agree on a shared set of facts as a staring point or by unclarity about the positions people are trying to put forward. Today’s featured impediment to dialogue has less to…

Mike Dunford initiates a meme for Earth Day 2009: I’d like you to take a minute or two to come up with three things that you can do to be more environmentally friendly. The first should be something that’s small, and easy to do. The second should be more ambitious – something you’ll try to…

Help a bunch of quitters.

Noted ScienceBlogs commenter DuWayne Brayton has started a new blog to aid in kicking an old habit. In his welcome post, he writes: I’m a soon to be ex-smoker. My name is DuWayne Brayton and I have been smoking for about sixteen years now. I’ve had enough – though embarrassingly, it has taken the price…

I’ve mentioned before that I grew up in a family that was fairly captivated by the U.S. space program, especially the Apollo program that brought humans to the Moon. But as impressive as those manned missions to the Moon were, what did the Apollo program accomplish? Where are our moon-bases? Orphans of Apollo, a documentary…

Today we discuss an impediment to dialogue about animals in research that seems to have a special power to get people talking past each other rather than actually engaging with each other: Imprecision about the positions being staked out. Specifically, here, the issue is whether the people trying to have a dialogue are being precise…

As we continue our look at ways that attempted dialogues about the use of animals in research run off the rails, let’s take up one more kind of substantial disagreement about the facts. Today’s featured impediment: Disagreement about whether animals used in research experience discomfort, distress, pain, or torture. This disagreement at least points to…