Adventures in Ethics and Science

For those of you who have heard me issue calls for dialogue (not debate) on the subject of research with non-human animals — especially if you’re in the Los Angeles area — I’m pleased to announce that there’s an event coming up in February that’s aimed at fostering just such a dialogue, in the three-dimensional world. Here’s the announcement:

Save the date!

Perspectives on the Science and Ethics of Animal-Based Research

UCLA, Covel Commons, 6pm-8:30pm, February 16th, 2010

With the goal of opening an on-going dialogue between individuals who are in favor or opposed to the use of animals in biomedical research, Bruins for Animals and Pro-Test for Science will be hosting a panel discussion on this complex topic. The
event is open to those who want to engage in a civil, intellectually honest discussion on issues about which people hold passionate, differing opinions.

Three panelists on each side will briefly present their personal views on the topic, followed by moderator-driven discussion that will be responsive to questions submitted by the audience.

The event will be moderated by David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times.

The panel participants are:

Janet D. Stemwedel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy, San Jose State University.

Professor Stemwedel will discuss her views about the ethical issues around animal use in scientific research.

Ray Greek, M.D.
President of Americans for Medical Advancement

Dr. Greek will discuss his views about the use of animals to predict human response.

Colin Blakemore, FMedSci FRS
Professor of Neuroscience, Oxford University
   
Professor Blakemore will discuss  his views on the role of animal research in medicine and public health.
Lawrence Hansen, M.D.
Professor of Neurosciences and Pathology, University of California, San Diego
   
Dr. Hansen will discuss his views about the use of animals in basic research.
Dario L. Ringach, Ph.D.
Professor of Neurobiology and Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
   
Professor Ringach will present is views on the role of basic science in driving medical advancement and knowledge.
Robert Jones, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, California State University, Chico
   
Professor Jones will discuss the philosophical and ethical implications of using nonhuman animals as subjects in medical and
scientific research.

Admission is open to ticketed individuals only.  For information on requesting tickets, please check our websites at
http://bruinsforanimals.org/ and http://www.pro-test-for-science.org

Of course, doing dialogue is challenging, so I can’t promise that this one will be perfect. But I reckon it might be a serious step in the right direction.

Comments

  1. #1 padraig
    December 11, 2009

    Kudos to you for doing this. It’s a tough call whether debates and dialogues in and of themselves legitimize AR extremism, but engaging in civilized dialogue on the issue defuses one of their better talking points.

    I think you are seen as a reasonable person by both sides, and that your participation will help keep the conversation on point and civil.

    (Plus I think you’re gonna eat Ray Greek’s lunch.) ;)

  2. #2 jchowning
    December 11, 2009

    Will you tape this? I would love to see it! Hopefully there will at least be a transcript.

  3. #3 Kenny Easwaran
    December 11, 2009

    This sounds great. I’ll try to see if I can make it, but it looks like it might either be while I’m in Chicago for the APA or teaching my seminar the day before.

    Am I misunderstanding who some of these participants are, or does this look like it will be a largely pro-test group?

  4. #4 David Jentsch
    December 14, 2009

    The 6 panelists represent what we believe is a reasonable sampling of the full range of ideas and feelings about animal research. Three participants are supportive of some use of animals in scientifically-valid, regulated research programs. Three participants are more critical of the scientific validity of animal research or of its ethical basis. The participants and audience will therefore be primed to bring multiple perspectives to bear in this dialogue.

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