The Scientific Activist

Via Tom Holder of Speaking of Research comes news that embattled UCLA scientists have formed their own chapter of the pro-research organization Pro-Test. And, they’re already planning their first event:

Following in the footsteps of the Pro-Test group in Oxford, UK, students and scientists at UCLA have pledged to stand up against the lies and misinformation of animal rights groups, and the violence of extremist organizations. They have formed the new group UCLA Pro-Test, which stands for science, reasoned debate and the belief that life-saving medical research must continue without violence and harassment from misguided activists.

On Wednesday, 22nd April 2009, at 11:30 we call for all students, scientists and members of the public to make their way to the UCLA campus and meet at the junction of Westwood Blvd and Le Conte Ave. Stand up for Science, Research and the Medicines of Tomorrow – Stand up and have your voice heard at the UCLA Pro-Test rally!!

This rally will coincide with an anti-research demonstration at UCLA planned during the World Week for Animals in Laboratories (Week of Mon April 20th).

UCLA Pro-Test was founded by David Jentsch, and he has been joined by a number of other scientists who have also been the victims of animal rights extremism in California. With the support of Speaking of Research, and Pro-Test UK, they aim to challenge this climate of fear that has descended upon researchers in California and beyond!

Will you play your part? Not only are we looking for the silent majority to find their voice and march with us, but also for a few motivated individuals to get involved and help us get the word out. Anyone interested should contact us at contact@speakingofresearch.com. We especially need students and scientists on campus to join us in advertising, publicizing and organizing the demonstration! Get involved in this once-in-a-lifetime movement.

Unfortunately, researchers at UCLA have become a major target of animal rights extremists over the last few years. This has included various incidents of destruction of property aimed at specific scientists, and this has coincided with a general rise in animal rights extremist activity in the US.

In fact, the current climate at UCLA is very similar to that at the University in Oxford leading up to 2006. After successfully shutting down a new research facility at Cambridge, animal rights activists had turned their sights on Oxford, launching an intense campaign of intimidation that included large demonstrations, verbal and written threats, publicizing names and photos of anyone involved with Oxford’s new research facility, and–most notably–arson.

A major turning point came with the formation of Pro-Test by Oxford students and scientists who were tired–like so many others–of being intimidated into silence on the issue of animal research. After a series of well-attended rallies and other public events beginning in early 2006, the climate in Oxford had changed discernibly. Since then, the animal rights movement in Oxford in particular, and in the UK in general, has lost a great deal of momentum over the last few years, and Pro-Test surely deserves significant amount of credit for this. You can read a detailed history of Pro-Test at Speaking of Research, and you can read more in my archives (old and new).

Indeed, Pro-Test was so successful that I remarked back then that this was an excellent example of the potential of scientific activism to effect real change, and such a model should be exported to the US to counter the major anti-scientific challenges being faced there, specifically attacks on evolution and (at the time) embryonic stem cell research. At the time, though, I never thought that animal rights extremism would become such an issue in the US that it would require concerted action from the scientific community there.

I was wrong, of course, and now it’s clear that we need to heed Pro-Test’s example and take our pro-research message to the streets in the US as well, giving a voice to the silent majority that opposes the actions of these fringe extremists. That’s why these UCLA scientists and their nascent Pro-Test chapter deserve our full support. So, if you’re in the LA area, plan on attending their April 22nd rally, and if you’re able to help out in any other way, please get in touch with them.

Comments

  1. #1 David
    March 30, 2009

    Excellent, and about time too!

    It’s great to see that a scientist who has been targeted is willing to stand up to the bully boys of the ALF, and that there are many others willing to stand with him.

    Go Bruins!!

  2. #2 Frank the SciencePunk
    April 1, 2009

    This is good stuff. In the UK the animal rights movement appears to have played itself out. Public sympathies are with the scientists (I guess because we’re all getting old, and worrying about those uncured illnesses). ALF didn’t help their cause much when they decided kidnap a journalist and brand their initials into his back.

  3. #3 Tom
    April 2, 2009

    I hope everyone reading this spreads it their friends and colleagues in order to get the word out – this could be the US turning point on the animal research issue.

  4. #4 John
    April 2, 2009

    Why is it that over 99% of the time it is the animal-researcher who refuses to accept participation in an open public debate to authenticate the basic validity of their work? If one were truely doing something worthwhile and lifesaving it would be an automatic, reflexive, involuntary, and instant intrinsic reaction to desire to show others the merit of your research. This unwillingness shows no obligation at all to the suffering patient,taxpayer, and science itself! Something is very wrong. If science indeed supported their views then all they have to do is show up just one time only and it will be on the record permanently and they need not ever have to participate again. The answer is that to date every animal-researcher has always lost these type of debates.

  5. #5 Nick Anthis
    April 2, 2009

    Hmmm, I don’t know, John. Maybe these scientists are busy… you know… doing science. Or, maybe they’re not too excited about making themselves a more visible target for violent animal rights extremists. Take your pick.

  6. #6 John
    April 2, 2009

    Busy? Too busy to reveal to taxpayers who fund their research to show them if their hard-earned money is being used wisely! These researchers have all types of assistants in their labs and all they have to do is take an extended lunch-break just one time in their entire careers. Making an appearance at a lecture hall does not make them a more visible target when their identities are already known. Try again. I’ll give you the answer: it is all about salaries and careers. Those people who are dangerous to researchers will not risk making an appearance in public. These researchers are afraid of Dr. Ray Greek and his website http://www.curedisease.com due to new evidence analogous to the type which proves and disproves mathematical theorems that invalidates without a doubt the animal-model which has been the cause due to (delays) of the needless suffering and preventable deaths of millions of people since the 1930′s!!In science the burden of proof is always placed on the person practicing a test, experiment, or procedure to show the slightest bit of predictive value; much like an attorney citing a legal precedent. Research is no longer focused on the gross medical levels where animals shedded light on various commonalities. UCLA’s researchers are not able to show predictive value and know that they will always lose their debates.

  7. #7 Nick Anthis
    April 2, 2009

    This has all been hashed out ad nauseum here and elsewhere, John. If you wanted a real debate, you wouldn’t bring the same talking-point fallacies that we’ve heard time and time again. It’s pointless to engage with this junk.

  8. #8 John
    April 2, 2009

    Fallacies is what your side engages in by cowering away from Dr. Ray Greek who exposes the fallacies of the animal-model. Two types of people still support this type of research: 1. those who profit from it 2. those who do not know enough about it; which one are you? When it was discovered that the Earth was roundish in shape and NOT flat there was much resistance to hold onto old ways of thinking, even amongst the scientists at that time. Many people went as far as to not even glance into the telescope. Sound familiar? Look into the telescope and recognize a new fact in your life. Almost 95% of all medical schools have now deleted animals in their training of medical students.This was done due to an educational physicians group teaching how archaic, inefficient, and inferior the old way of learning was. Something is seriously wrong that even when proved how millions have needlessly died due to vivisection you still show no allegience to your own species: like I said its all about salaries and careers as well as other types of profit. Universities profit handsomely from grants. At Yale the spokesman there refuses to give a name of an administrator for the purpose of writing a simple letter on this topic. This type of research is highly desired much like a winning basketball and football program: alot of extra revenue.

  9. #9 Denis Alexander
    April 2, 2009

    Dr. Greek already enjoyed a debate not long ago with Eric Sandgren from the University of Wisconsin:

    http://www.curedisease.com/video.html

    What’s the point of repeating this again? The same things will be said over and over again and nobody will change their position.

  10. #10 Tom Holder
    April 4, 2009

    Dr Ray Greek is a scientific joke. He doesn’t even try and be reasonable claiming that NO animal research has ever benefited anyone. When Greek wakes up and looks around perhaps he’ll pop over to the medicine cabinet and note that the insulin, penicillin, anti-coagulants, anaesthetics, all manner of vaccines, and most of the rest of the cupboard have only been possible because of the role that animals took in the development process. That is not to say other methods were not important as well, but each method – computers, animal-models, tissue work – all play their own part in development.

  11. #11 Denis Alexander
    April 5, 2009

    It is also interesting he is a retired anesthesiologist. I wonder if he knows how anesthesia actually works. I wonder if he knows about ionic channels in cell membranes. I wonder if he knows where this knowledge came from. I wonder…

  12. #12 John
    April 7, 2009

    All of your comments above represent the rampant fraudulant motives of people who still support the animal-model. Dr. Greek supports 7of9 categories that fall under the umbrella of Animal-Research!!!! The remaining 2(vivisection in studying human diseases and toxicity along with drug development) are INVALID and comprise a vast majority of medical research of the nine TODAY. If you archive past websites of http://www.curedisease.com you will see. Since all the above comments show a clear obvious lack of basic knowledge on this issue you should go to an easier website at http://www.curedisease.net and then archive Dr. Greek’s past sites(www.archive.org). Dr. Greek’s book from 2004 dispels the above lie:(“no animal research has ever benefitted anyone”).You will see how Dr.Greek supports and gives credit to animals under certain specific conditions and categories from history and today. Sadly, all of the comments above show impulsive emotion instead of analytical thought. This is further proof of why researchers avoid debates because their reasoning and logic is ALWAYS flawed just like their supporters. The debate from the University of Wisconsin cited above goes back a few years and is the ONLY debate ever according to Dr. Greek that a researcher avoided the usual lies and adheres to total science and despite this STILL lose.

  13. #13 Gerry
    April 9, 2009

    It is VERY empowering to be on this board. Not one of you other than John has said anything yet that is true!!!! Anti-biotics were delayed due to the animals according to it’s discoverer.. Insulin is a simple substance much like making a hamburger from a cow for a sandwich which WAS very usefull when discovered but the animal-modeled research of diabetes multiple dead-ends delayed it’s usefullness for decades.ie: a pigs heart valve is tissue that is usefull in a person but it is dead tissue which works due to size,geometric shape, texture, etc. Nick needs the animals to complete his PHD degree. On the molecular level billions of differences exist amongst humans and animals which makes it very easy for him to change a variable and get an “interestingly new” result which erroniously is labeled an IMPORTANT discovery whose purpose is publication to get the next $ grant or job promotion or thesis completed. The fact that animals are USED in a study does not automatically mean that they were useful. The animals get you the money to operate which is why just a couple days ago David Jentsch refused to accept a radio interview to discuss the merits of the animal-model despite the purpose stated above that Pro-test is concerned about science and “reasoned debate”. You “people” need serious soul assessment and spiritual counseling from a good psychic medium to put you in a hypno-therapy session where you tell your very own self(on tape in your own voice)the unique reason behind your above lies. You will then hear it’s as simple as: SALARIES-CAREERS-MONEY. Of course, it never really is about a heartfelt concern to help humans from suffering or death from disease. Make the appointment as soon as possible. Actually make several appointments with different therapists and all the tapes will be consistent in content: As John says: Salaries, careers, and profit. EVOLVE

  14. #14 Nick Anthis
    April 10, 2009

    Nick needs the animals to complete his PHD degree.

    Actually, I don’t. The most complicated organism my research involves is E. coli. Get your facts straight.

  15. #15 Gerry
    April 11, 2009

    As if I really know what your personal research entails? Very interesting that you cannot refute the facts about the scientific fraud of the animal-model but lash out at my guestimate of your work which of course in the future will involve some animal-experimentation.

  16. #16 Nick Anthis
    April 11, 2009

    As if I really know what your personal research entails?

    Exactly, you don’t. Just like you know nothing about the personal motivations, for example, of all of these researchers you demonize (despite declaring that you do). (And, you also once again assume my work will involve animal experimentation in the future, which it probably won’t; you clearly know nothing about the scientific process.)

    I only raise these points, though, because they are indicative of the general lack of respect for truth and facts that you and ilk bring to the table. If you really are interested, I’d encourage you to look through my archives (old and new) on the subject of animal rights, as well as check out those of the others on my blogroll. These arguments have been dealt with ad nauseum, and it’s really not my job to placate your spurious calls for a “real debate”.

    You certainly should not read into any silence on my part an acquiescence to your arguments; rather, it’s just exasperation.

  17. #17 Gerry
    April 13, 2009

    “Personal Motivations”? Of course I know what they are: SALARY, CAREERS, PROFIT; as already stated. It is you who knows little of the scientific process. A PHD is equivalent to a senior graduating from high school as far as guaging knowledge when it comes to research. There is much animosity between PHD’s and MD’s in the “research” field soley due to salary disparities between the two.. People who refuse to show the validity of their work are clearly the ones with a “lack of respect for truth and facts”. All you do is invert the truth and pass it off as facts. To date 16 Yale Animal “Researchers” REFUSE to participate in explaining the merits of the animal-model. Their response is to always IGNORE all requests so they can avoid being on record that is,in saying NO to these requests just like David Jentsch. It is too much of a co-incidence that they almost always adhere to total silence. Ray Greek has in the past been banned from displaying an exhibit booth at medical and scientific conferences! As well as having editorial letters not published. Get yourself in hypno-therapy quickly and see for yourself what you are. I am not interested in animal-welfare or “rights’; you are trying to divert the issue. How much time have you spent on http://www.curedisease.com? Why are you putting up extraordinary resistance to seeing the truth?

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