Fearful not guilty 2

March 10, 2006

The article by Laurie Pycroft contains several inaccuracies.

First, the idea of animal research being necessary for medical advance is strongly disputed within the scientific community and has been for the past century. Associations of antivivisection doctors exist in several countries, including the UK, Germany, Italy, Israel and Switzerland, and the book 1,000 Doctors against Vivisection (edited by Hans Ruech) contains statements by many medical professionals rejecting animal research as a means of advancing human health.

Second, the claim that the public supports animal research is not borne out by numerous polls, most of which show that the majority supports its abolition.

Finally, any "cowing" of animal researchers is more than matched by the pressure applied to any doctor who dares challenge the scientific validity of this research. While translating for a body of antivivisectionist doctors in Germany, I learnt of one member driven to suicide by harassment and of another who was threatened with expulsion from her practioners'

association if she continued to publish articles critical of animal research. With multimillion-pound business interests involved, animal-rights activists are not the only intimidators.

Dennis Stuart Brighton

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns