In Thursday’s guest column, UW-Madison neuroscientists defending animal research called those from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who question their work “militants,” and the questions themselves “senseless attacks.” They characterize statements in a legal suit filed against them as an action that “bypasses our system of justice.”
Their rhetoric clouds the issue. Citizens who fund a public university have a right to question the use of their taxes for experiments whose only obvious benefit is the financial one to the department that pays the researchers’ salaries. Yet UW stonewalled for years before making its records public.
That’s understandable. Many people would rather lose their hearing than have animals used in experiments. And for what purpose: to learn that two hearing aids are more effective than one?
Oversight of their experiments cannot be entrusted solely to those who conduct them or to their peers. These researchers mistake “senseless attacks” for what’s actually good citizenship.
— Charles Talbert, Monona