This makes me furious and very sad.
I've noticed an interesting shift toward the negative in my attitude toward science and scientists since I've been back in school. I say interesting I guess because if anything I would have expected a shift in the opposite direction.
Two reasons for the shift: 1) the incredible arrogance and narrow-mindedness of some professors/scientists/academics I've encountered, the complete confidence allowing for no doubt that the so-called scientific method is the only reliable way to find out anything true, and 2) the creeping awareness of the scale of cruelty inflicted on animals in science labs every single day.
Number one is what it is. People believe what they believe. Number two is the one that's most difficult for me.
For my science classes, I read paper after paper about animals studies and sometimes ... I have to stop and cry. I'm not talking about the kinds of examples anti-animal rights people always trot out, like finding a cure for cancer or diabetes, etc. I mean studies like the one above, where the scientist is looking for a correlation between stress during pregnancy and brain development of the child by blaring a horn at a pregnant monkey for 10 minutes a day. I guess what appalls me is that people just read right past that and don't even think about that pregnant monkey, about the ethics of that experiment. And even if you do find a correlation -- its relevance and usefulness for humans in tenuous. The scientist is presented -- presents herself -- as some kind of hero, a crusader for the poor. To find out whether or not stress fucks people up, she sets out to fuck up a few hundred monkeys. It's nauseating.
I really do believe that our descendants will look back at this period with horror and disgust, that our treatment of animals will loom large in history.