UCSC animal researcher targeted

Attackers broke into the home of a University of California, Santa Cruz scientist who uses animals to study breast cancer and neurological disorders, on Sunday (Feb. 24), according to the linkurl:__Santa Cruz Sentinel__.;http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_8360836 Another California animal researcher - UCLA neurologist, Edythe London - has been the target of linkurl:vandalism;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54287/ recently, with an animal rights group claiming responsibility for linku

By | February 26, 2008

Attackers broke into the home of a University of California, Santa Cruz scientist who uses animals to study breast cancer and neurological disorders, on Sunday (Feb. 24), according to the linkurl:__Santa Cruz Sentinel__.;http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_8360836 Another California animal researcher - UCLA neurologist, Edythe London - has been the target of linkurl:vandalism;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54287/ recently, with an animal rights group claiming responsibility for linkurl:flooding;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53812/ her house last October. Lt. Rudy Escalante of the Santa Cruz Police Department told __The Scientist__ that six bandana-clad people shouted and banged on the door of the unnamed UCSC researcher's home just before 1:00 PM on Sunday and attacked a male at the house (also unnamed, but not the researcher) who came to the door. The attackers tried to enter the house and hit the man with an object before fleeing. A witness recorded the license plate number of the car leaving the scene. Neither UCSC officials nor Santa Cruz police are saying for sure whether animal rights activists were involved with incident. "I still have not seen any proof or evidence that would indicate such accusations," Escalante said. (UCSC spokespeople did not provide any additional information by the time of this story's posting.) Escalante said that Santa Cruz police raided a house Sunday night at the address to which the getaway car was registered and confiscated clothing, documents, cell phones, and computers. Escalante added that the FBI is now investigating the case along with Santa Cruz police. UCSC chancellor George Blumenthal told the __Sentinel__ that "disagreement, debate and dissent on a range of subjects are all hallmarks of a healthy university community. However, an attempted home invasion by masked perpetrators is not free speech - it is a criminal act that threatens, intimidates and stifles academic freedom."
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Comments

Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 31

February 27, 2008

Not only do home invasions threaten to stifle academic freedom, they are dangerous. If this pattern of behavior continues, it is likely someone will be killed. Some scientists may actually keep a loaded weapon in their house, and I feel quite certain that a home invasion by masked persons would be met with force. I, myself, would not hesitate to defend my home with deadly force, nor would my wife. After all, how would we know their motive was not rape, robbery or murder? Because I am a researcher who uses animals, I hesitate to post my name.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

February 27, 2008

I agree that personal attacks on animal researchers is a serious issue, however, this story is inflammatory. The first sentence states attackers broke into a home. Not until the third paragraph does the article say that the door was opened to strangers who hit the person answering the door before fleeing. Also, it is jumping to conclusions to allege that the reason for this incident is that the home owner is an animal researcher. Lets get the facts straight and not report conjecture about a real and serious topic.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

February 28, 2008

Breaking and entering is a criminal act of entering a residence or other enclosed property through the slightest amount of force (even pushing open a door), without authorization. If there is intent to commit a crime, this is burglary. If there is no such intent, the breaking and entering alone is probably at least illegal trespass, which is a misdemeanor crime. Perhaps you simply perused this article and missed the facts, however it is not inflammatory. None of my colleagues have ever been attacked in their homes, nor do I know of any non-animal researchers who have. If there are any, my guess is they're greatly outweighed by those who test animals. Once again, because the article simply states what type of research the person was doing doesn't necessarily translate into a correlation, though given the evidence it seems very possible! Bottom line is that this type of behavior towards scientists is alarming when just about anyone could disapprove of your research. Next thing you know, someone is protesting and saying Ecoli has feelings too...
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

March 1, 2008

There is ample anecdotal if not rigorously demonstrable evidence that the level of academic dogmatism has increased dramatically over the last several decades, a phenomenon that is particularly evident as scientists so freely voice opinions outside of their own area of true expertise: We are scientists; you are wrong.\n\nIf that is true, one can hardly be surprised when zealot-thugs view academics as ideological enemies.\n\nHopefully, the miscreants will be captured and locked up; law-breakers should not set the scientific agenda. Also, clearly, we should not blame the victims of these crimes--but a little less academic hubris might help attenuate the passion that drives ideologs.\n\nI am a former researcher who used animals, and also prefer to remain anonymous.\n

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