An Open Letter to assorted Pharynguloids, Insolents, Mathphiliacs and the like.

Feb 25 2010 Published by under Animals in Research, Blogging

Thank you.
In response to the blog posts of PZ, orac, MarkCC and many others, you did what you do best. You commented. At the home blogs and at the sites of the violent Animal Rights extremists who feel it is acceptable to threaten the children of a man who no longer does the work to which they object.
Some of you were in support of animal research and some were not. But even many of the latter stood up for the civil society of discourse, unfettered by the intimidation of personal threats.
You know this, of course, because you are already engaged in the blogosphere. What you may not see is the gratitude of scientists who work with animals. In the past day I have seen several expressions of gratitude from my scientific friends, peers and colleagues in other venues. They are happy, and in cases overjoyed, to see such public support. Even if many of you are pseudonymous or anonymous. Their joy is a surprised one because it is so rare in their careers to see much in the way of individual support for their research and, more importantly, personal antagonism directed toward the extremist violent fringe of the AR movement. Even as you delight in acting the skeptic, calling out asshats, FWDAOTI and other assorted blogospheric games, know that you have real beneficial impact on the scientists who are just trying to do their jobs, create knowledge and, in many cases, improve human health in ways both small and large. It helps for these individuals to see the personal and individual expressions of outrage and support that you have posted around in various places. It makes them see in a very tangible way that they are not facing the onslaught alone.
In the name of my colleagues I thank you.

9 responses so far

  • Indeed. Nice work, folks.

  • Orac says:

    And we've had an effect. The loons are being...well, even loonier:

  • Keiko says:

    It is so important to identify cases like this one, where the hordes rush in as they are told to and don't fuck it up, and do a good job. A little treat, a pat on the head, this is a good thing.
    They do well with the polls, too.
    (Be careful, though, to only tell them that they have done a good job. Do not criticize them even a little, or they may grow angry and bite the proverbial hand.)
    They are not really capable of understanding that if this sort of thing does not happen often enough, they may not be thought of as worth the fish. But they do get the part about the fish.
    Quick, more fish!!!

  • Nora Streed says:

    Exactly, DM. And thanks, y'all.

  • What DrugMonkey said.
    For an unholy army of the undead, you folks make a good stand for basic human decency. That counts for a lot.

  • Pascale says:

    Brother Drug, you said it well.

  • Sven DiMilo says:

    class post, friend

  • Moses says:

    Happy to! Especially as my wife works on Zebrafish as a model. And, as the poem goes:
    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Moses, from a comment left previously

    First they came for the nonhuman primate researchers and I didn't speak up, because I do not work with monkeys. Then they came for the electrophysiologists and medical school physiology labs, and I didn't speak up, because I do not work with "pet" species. Then they came for the rodent researchers and I didn't speak up, because I do not work with mammals. Then they came for the fruit-fly researchers, but by that time there was nobody left to speak up for me. (with apologies to Pastor Martin Niemoeller)

    although, given the recent post by BM and following comments..I don't know that researchers should make this analogy *either*. it is food for thought.

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