No Common Ground

Regarding the news article in the May 30, 1994, issue of The Scientist reporting on the perennial animal research debate [N. Sankaran, page 3]: Any new panel, at any level, official or nonofficial, is doomed to failure, since no common ground exists for discussion between researchers and animal rights activists. The quote by John McArdle, scientific adviser to the Jenkintown, Pa.-based American Anti-Vivisection Society- -"The ultima

Frederick Sperling
Sep 18, 1994

Regarding the news article in the May 30, 1994, issue of The Scientist reporting on the perennial animal research debate [N. Sankaran, page 3]: Any new panel, at any level, official or nonofficial, is doomed to failure, since no common ground exists for discussion between researchers and animal rights activists. The quote by John McArdle, scientific adviser to the Jenkintown, Pa.-based American Anti-Vivisection Society- -"The ultimate goal is to replace animals with other methods, since we believe it is immoral and unethical to use animals"--plainly indicates that a rational discussion is impossible and agreement with the activists is wishful thinking.

I pointed this out at a National Institutes of Health conference a few years ago. It is just as true now as it was then. That conference degenerated into name-calling and personal attacks by the animal rights participants. No agreement of any kind was reached.

I personally resent being characterized...

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