"Everybody Look Busy"

April 20, 2009

Maybe it is just me but just when local institutions are feeling the pinch and squeezing their investigators…..there seems to have been a flurry of emails from the brass. Deans and Vice-Whatnots have increased their production of *announcements several fold. Is this just me? I’ve been seeing this from more than one institution.
I’m reminded of the old bit of advice as to what to do given that Jesus is coming…
*Many of course announcing some new management hire which is just…..really, really, really bad PR in this day and age. (Here’s a hint on that one…your golden geese NIH grant drones don’t want to hear it. Really.)

Dame Janet of La Mancha has launched an admirable series of posts which attempt to dissect the discussion-stoppers which impede progress when advocates of science and advocates of animal rights talk. She has this impossible dream that perhaps by recognizing these consistent traps, those of us who wish to advance understanding of our position in a rational adult, meaningful way can move forward.
TDtID: Part 1
TDtID: Part 2
TDtID: Part 3
As we are in the midst of a traditional week-o-ARA-wackaloonery and two days away from the first US Pro-Test rally (at UCLA) this is all highly topical. Why not take some time to do a little bit of reading and thinking about these issues? After all, it is only the continued health and well being of yourself, your family, your friends and neighbors that is at stake.
To watch a current exemplar of the traditional “discussion” to which Janet refers, wander on over to the Facebook page for UCLA Pro-Test. Some of the usual superficial ARA critics have emerged to attempt a dialog. You may want to create your own bingo card from Janet’s posts to keep score of the discussion.
To date the most interesting reading has arisen in a link offered by Paul Browne of Speaking Of Research.
This whole thing reminds me that I never put up a link to Mark Chu-Carroll’s post on animal research. Wait, why’s some computer / math dude chiming in? Well, one of the more spectacularly false-on-the-face assertions that seems to carry weight with the ARA position is the contention that research can all be done “with computer models”. This does not make any sense to anyone who has ever tried to program a computer and Mark does an excellent job of explaining why.