Thursday, 5 June 2008
Jane Goodall speaks for the animal in research
Primatologist urges scientific establishment to end cruelty to animals in labs
World-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall has proposed the creation of a new Nobel Prize category for scientists who advance medical knowledge through the development of working alternatives to animal experimentation. Goodall, whose pioneering work with chimpanzees in the wild changed the face of ethology, said that curtailing and eventually eliminating animal research is a "goal towards which all civilized nations should be moving."
"As we move into the 21st century we need a new mindset," she told attendees of a symposium organized by animal rights groups and political leaders in the European Union. "We should admit that the infliction of suffering on beings who are capable of feeling is ethically problematic and that the amazing human brain should set to work to find new ways of testing and experimenting that will not involve the use of live, sentient beings."
Since the Nobel Foundation started awarding the illustrious humanitarian prize in 1901, only one new category has been added (economics, in 1968). In the mid-90s, the Foundation rejected a suggestion from former Vice President (and recent Nobel Prize winner) Al Gore that an award be added for contributions to environmentalism. Just as Gore's recommendation would elevate the status of environmentalism in the global community, Goodall's proposal to encourage alternatives to animal experimentation would raise awareness of and appreciation for the animal protection movement and all that it stands for.
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