Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for February, 2010

I take it that a good number of animal rights supporters feel that their position is philosophically well-grounded, intuitively appealing, and compatible with the flourishing of humans as well as of non-human animals. As such, I would argue that animal rights supporters can, and should, advance their position without resorting to tactics that depend on…

Earlier this week, I related a situation I found alarming in which a scientist and his children were targeted for harassment because he dared to express the view that research with animals plays an important role in answering scientific questions that matter to scientists and to the public. I was not alone in decrying these…

Younger offspring: Hey, look what I grew! Dr. Free-Ride: Wow, those are tall. Younger offspring: It’s a bean plant.

We don’t have to agree about whether animal research is ethical or scientifically valuable to agree that some tactics for pursuing your view are harmful to civil society. Bruins for Animals, the student organization at UCLA that was instrumental in organizing the recent dialogue about the science and ethics of animal based research, understands this,…

When I told you about the infuriating tactics extreme animal rights activists are turning against Dario Ringach for even daring to express his view that animal research can be important, a number of you asked in the comments, “What can we do besides signing petitions and writing blog posts?” David Jentsch offers some concrete ideas…

I need to share with you a situation that is infuriating. It’s infuriating to me, and I believe it should be infuriating to anyone who values a civil society worth the name. Harassment drove UCLA neurobiologist Dario Ringach out of primate research in 2006. This was not just angry phone calls and email messages. We’re…

From a recent article in the New York Times considering University of Alabama-Huntsville shooter Amy Bishop’s scientific stature and finding it lacking, this comment on why so many denizens of the internet think they can understand why she did what she did: Why did people who knew Dr. Bishop only through reading about her crime…

By email, a reader asks for advice on a situation in which the personal and the professional seem like they might be on a collision course: I am a junior at a small (< 2000 students) liberal arts college. I got recruited to be a TA for an upper division science class, and it’s going…

Ethical use of student labor.

MommyProf wonders whether some of the goings on in her department are ethical. She presents two cases. I’m going to look at them in reverse order. Case 2: Faculty member is tenure-track and he and I have collaborated on a paper. He was supposed to work on the literature, and sends me a literature review.…

As promised, here’s the video of the February 16, 2010 panel discussion at UCLA about the science and ethics of animal-based research, sponsored by Bruins for Animals and Pro-Test for Science. UCLA Panel on Science and Ethics of Animal Research from Dario Ringach on Vimeo. The video runs for about 2.5 hours, so you might…