Richard Gallagher's commentary1 focuses on doing a better job of selling science to the layman, so that the scientific community can continue to pursue its various interests. Doesn't marketing science like a new model of automobile, by identifying "members of the research community who are knowledgeable about the issues, sympathetic to them, and confident in front of a camera," strike anyone as a bit bizarre? The ethical and moral implications of one's work should not be seen as something to be overcome with a better sales campaign, any more than the wider implications of our personal behavior or any other undertaking should be ignored in everyday life. For scientists, our work often is our life (to a frightening extent). Behaving like a responsible member of the community except when in the confines of the laboratory is not an acceptable option.
Heidi Hoff, DVM