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The UK's Research Defence Society (RDS) – a body funded by researchers, universities, and medical charities – has created a position of senior project manager to coordinate how universities deal with animal rights activists.
The individual will work closely with vice chancellors and scientists to prevent the criminal activities of extremists and protect staff against attacks. The new post, which has the backing of UK Science Minister David Sainsbury, will take effect by the end of August.
The plan is to offer guidance and a detailed plan of action for coping with attacks to universities that have animal research facilities. "Instead of going to universities on an ad hoc basis, we'll be doing it more systematically," says RDS director Simon Festing. "Until now, if some group posted the name of a scientist on its Web site and said, 'We must stop this research,' we would...