Dr. John Gluck, Faculty Affiliate of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, recently led a lineup of experts from a variety of fields convened to discuss animal research and alternatives to it at a conference organized by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
At the conference, more than 20 speakers shared their expertise on the scientific, legal, ethical, and political imperatives regarding animal research. According to a recent profile of the event authored by one of its organizers, Dr. Gluck “set the tone for the conference.”
After years of conducting primate research, [Gluck] began studying the ethics of animal research. He and other speakers explained that animals have their own set of needs, and that those needs are compromised when humans use animals in laboratory experiments.
Unlike human-research protections, which are now guided by a principled approach, laws governing the use of animals in research have resulted from a largely politicized, patchwork process. That has led to unclear and disparate policies. Meanwhile, studies have dramatically increased our understanding of animal cognition and emotion, suggesting that animals’ potential for experiencing harm may be greater than has been appreciated, and that current protections need to be reconsidered.
You can read full coverage of the event, including highlights of talks from other speakers, at The Chronicle of Higher Education.