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Calif. law protects researchers

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a state linkurl:bill;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54494/ Sunday (Sept. 28) that aims to protect academic researchers - especially linkurl:those who use animals in their studies -;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54933/ from the types of attacks that animal rights groups have employed in the state recently. The linkurl:law,;http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_2251-2300/ab_2296_bill_20080904_enrolled.html called the

By | September 30, 2008

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a state linkurl:bill;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54494/ Sunday (Sept. 28) that aims to protect academic researchers - especially linkurl:those who use animals in their studies -;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54933/ from the types of attacks that animal rights groups have employed in the state recently. The linkurl:law,;http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_2251-2300/ab_2296_bill_20080904_enrolled.html called the Researcher Protection Act of 2008, makes it illegal for protesters to publish the names, addresses, photographs, or other identifying information of university researchers or their immediate families in California with the intent to aid in or commit a crime against them. The bill, authored by State Assemblyman linkurl:Gene Mullin;http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a19/ (D-South San Francisco), was crafted in response to attacks against researchers in the state, including scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, whose personal information was linkurl:printed on pamphlets;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54908/ and left at a coffee shop in the seaside town. Some of those researchers' homes were later linkurl:firebombed;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54910/ in what appeared to be the work of animal rights activists. Other University of California researchers have been linkurl:targeted;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54287/ by animal rights activists this year. The law also defines a new specific form of misdemeanor trespassing where a person with the intent to "chill, prevent the exercise of or interfere with the academic freedom of an academic researcher," enters that researcher's property. "Increasingly, the potential for innovative thought and new medical therapies is jeopardized by threats aimed at researchers and their families," Mullin said in a statement released yesterday. "The signing of [the bill] sends a message that California values its researchers and their families and that violence or serious threats of violence are never the answer." The University of California sponsored the bill, and university president linkurl:Mark Yudof;http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/newpresident2008/biography.html praised state lawmakers and the governor for making the bill a law. "University of California researchers are leaders in scientific and technological breakthroughs that are enhancing the lives of Californians and all Americans," said Yudof in a linkurl:statement.;http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/18656 "This law will provide law enforcement with some of the tools necessary to help protect academic researchers so they can continue to perform ground-breaking research without the threat of violence."
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Comments

Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 9

October 1, 2008

This is wonderful news. Unfortunately, this law only affects California, and might cause an "exportation" of animal extremism to other neighboring states. What is needed is a similar law on the Federal level to protect all researcher across the US. But, this is a promising first step.

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