Monday, August 4, 2008
I post this as a statement of solidarity with researchers and those who pursue knowledge by acceptable and justifiable means. Violence against science and those who contribute to its advancement is a sign of ignorance and intolerance, something that would have occurred in the dark ages, not the 21st century. This weekend, a UCSC researcher, whose name appeared in an anti-animal research pamphlet last week, woke up to his home being firebombed and had to escape with his family, including two young children. This is unacceptable behavior in a civilized society. The crime is being treated as domestic terrorism, which is a federal offense, and as attempted homicide. Animal models are extremely important to the advancement of our understanding and medicine. Education is needed to limit the number of people who do not realize this. I feel for the animals, I really do. I used to work with mice, and it's difficult work. But to know that it may lead down the road to a better quality of life, and that everything is done to minimize their discomfort, makes it a little easier. Scientists are not animal abusers, and they're definitely several rungs higher on the moral ladder than people who firebomb other people's homes.