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charge a few neurons
Ringach ceasing primate research due to threats
(x-posted to neuroscience, _scientists_)

Some of you are likely familiar with Dario Ringach, whose work with macaques has been a boon to our understanding of receptive fields in visual cortex. Unfortunately, it looks like he's been intimidated out of continuing with this research:

From here and here:

The constant calls, the people frightening his children, and the demonstrations in front of his home apparently became a little too much.

Dario Ringach, an associate neurobiology professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, decided this month to give up his research on primates because of pressure put on him, his neighborhood, and his family by the UCLA Primate Freedom Project, which seeks to stop research that harms animals.

Anti-animal research groups are trumpeting Ringach’s move as a victory, while some researchers are worried that it could embolden such groups to use more extreme tactics. . . .

Colleagues suggested that Ringach, who did not return e-mails seeking comment, was spooked by an attack on a colleague. In June, the Animal Liberation Front took credit for trying to put a Molotov cocktail on the doorstep of Lynn Fairbanks, another UCLA researcher who does experimentation on animals. The explosive was accidentally placed on the doorstep of Fairbanks’s elderly neighbor’s house, and did not detonate.
64 Experiments | Propose your hypothesis
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lars_larsen From: lars_larsen Date: August 23rd, 2006 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Scientists need to militarize. Why aren't there big guys with guns gaurding scientists labs and houses?

You think you can just wander into NASA facilities? No way, big guys with guns stop you. Why aren't other government funded scientific organizations afforded the same protection?

If the government wont protect scientists, they need to protect themselves. I say we start a militia.

Even abortion clinics get free police protection. And those are private non-government-funded organizations.

Giving in to terrorists is not the answer. These people are criminals, and I say fight crime!
From: semiconsciously Date: August 23rd, 2006 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm a Liberal. No doubt. But as far as this PC "we have to be receptive to every idea" shit goes... well... I like to say:

Fuck that.

Not every idea is worthy or meritorious. if your ideology, beliefs, or desires inhibit another's capacity for peace, then your ideology is at best flawed. We can't keep coddling ignorance and bigotry.
lars_larsen From: lars_larsen Date: August 23rd, 2006 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Relativism is bullshit. Its logically flawed, and just plain stupid. I agree with you.

For some reason almost everyone I meet these days is obsessed with changing the world. I.E. making everyone else do exactly what THEY PERSONALLY think every other person should do. What audacity! Not only is it selfish and cruel, its also a hopeless endeavor and will only lead to disappointment.

Life is a lot easier when you realize you're not responsible for the actions of other people. Trying to control other people is a waste of effort.

The only solution to bad ideas is BETTER ideas.
From: semiconsciously Date: August 23rd, 2006 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Life is a lot easier when you realize you're not responsible for the actions of other people. Trying to control other people is a waste of effort.

Well said.
From: dancinggurl01 Date: August 23rd, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, it's funny how ignorant people can be and think they are saving society, and these people trying to blow up people's homes in the name of saving the animals who will later be saving them fits right in with that line of thought.

In the medical research building I worked in, there is a poster outside one of the labs of a white lab rat with a line on top that says something along the lines of "He has saved more lives than he has taken." The same is true for all other animals.

If all animal rights researchers ran society from the get-go, we'd not have progressed much further (health care wise) past perhaps the 18th or 19th centuries, when I believe some of the first vaccinations were being created.

Ultimately all research is done for the greater good of society.
64 Experiments | Propose your hypothesis
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