Neurophilosophy

Animal experiments? No Sir

Colin_Blakemore.jpg

Professor Colin Blakemore (right), a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford who was formerly chief executive of the Medical Research Council (MRC), has been denied a knighthood “because of his outspoken support for animal research.”

This is not the first time Blakemore has been overlooked in the annual honours list, and the fact that the honours system is corrupt and outdated will probably be little consolation to him.

Unlike those who have bought the title “Sir”, Blakemore deserves a peerage, as he is one of the few scientists who have publicly supported animal research, even though animal rights extremists have targeted him and his family.

Opposition to animal experiments stems at least partly from the public’s ignorance of the importance and aims of such research, and the decision by a spineless honours committee not to give Blakemore a peerage because it might prove controversial does not help matters.

Comments

  1. #1 MarkH
    December 28, 2007

    That’s pretty bizarre. An honor historically conferred onto those who were the best killers of humans is now decided by a panel too squeamish to acknowledge science needs kill animals.

    How do they think we learn about physiology and medicine? From dissecting potatoes?

  2. #2 Dave Briggs
    December 28, 2007

    I think this is a controversy that is going to go on ad infinitum! If you don’t realize how important the research is and if it is your favorite animal they are using it is difficult to make a convert!
    Dave Briggs :~)

  3. #3 Anibal
    January 1, 2008

    My paradoxical thinking about the issue is that we cannot by ethical matters expose the lives of human beings without previously testing the drug, (pursuing anatomical investigation etc.) in an animal body or animal paradigm.
    On the other hand, animal activists strive out for rights or animal well being… but they know that animals in general are closer to us, simply because scientists investigate on them!

    Blakemore deserves the honour.

  4. #4 William James
    January 5, 2008

    Safe experiments on mice can be performed here:

    Mouse Party

    For thought experiments and idea catalysts try this.

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