hmm.. (fleaplus) wrote in neuroscience,

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.
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