being recrutied unawares vs. being intimidated out of the

Jim Wellehan James.F.X.Wellehan at dartmouth.edu
Fri Jul 30 14:17:38 EST 1993


In article <23bk0d$n9i at max.physics.sunysb.edu>
mhollowa at ic.sunysb.edu (Michael Holloway) writes:

> Perhaps more detail to the question was necessary.  I was hoping that Jeffery 
> Fried, or someone, could explain what actions they believe are taking place 
> within biomedical research that requires a "balancing" with the views of 
> activists who are out of the mainstream.

I think the actions taking place that require balancing are not in
animal research, but public relations.  If we present ourselves as
haughty and unwilling to listen to other viewpoints, then we cannot
expect much empathy from the public.  Scientists have a tendency to
dissociate ourselves from the rest of the populace.  We need to say,
"This is what's best for us, the public", not, "This is what's best for
you, the public."  If we dismiss the opinions of others without
appearing to first consider them, our holier-than-thou attitude will
breed resentment and win support for Animal Rights.

> It's my hope that focusing on any 
> preconceptions might illuminate why some people in the field of biomedical
> research, but not familiar with animal "rights" activism, might be
> willing to accept the propaganda and philosophy without first giving the 
> matter sufficient thought or research.  I've met such people in my own 
> experience and I think that some of exchanges here in bionet.general also 
> show an unfortunate willingness to accept the animal "rights" propaganda.

I don't know if it's a willingness to accept so much as a willingness
to consider another viewpoint.  I would consider this a good thing, as
it can give us insights into our own viewpoints, and help us foresee
any objections arising against our own arguments.

Jim



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