[BERG] Claridication about the lectures
alex.weiss at ed.ac.uk
Fri Nov 4 11:22:12 GMT 2011
I would like to clarify matters for the BERG group regarding the lecture series
and to explain my motivation, particularly as I apparently did a poor job of
doing so in the initial email. Let me first say that I am not trying to change
anybody's mind and people are, of course, free to hold their own views.
Moreover, If anybody still does not wish to attend, I understand completely.
The lecture series is dedicated to the "memory" and not the man and, by
dedication, I do not mean veneration, celebration, or otherwise. The series is
named as it is because Harlow's name is associated with two things. The first is
research on attachment, learning, and primate behavior. The second is the fact
that the controversial nature of his research led to massively increased
awareness regarding ethical and welfare considerations in animal research. As
such, every other year the lectures will given by experts in the ethics of
animal research and/or animal welfare from fields such as philosophy. Moreover, I
would like to stress that the research talks will not include invasive studies.
I understand that Harlow's name and work evokes passion and anger among many
people. However, I had hoped that these lectures would be a constructive way to
move forward, both by highlighting the outstanding research in these topics that
can be done ethically and without harming or interfering with the subjects and
in bringing up ethical issues that need to be considered when studying nonhuman
primates or other animals.
I hope that I have been able to better explain myself. I also would like to ask
for help in two matters. First, any suggestions for a subtitle for the lecture
series that would better explain what they are about would be hugely
appreciated. Second, recommendations for suitable speakers, particularly for the
animal ethics/welfare talks, would be great, too. So far I have gotten some
excellent suggestions for the latter, but more cannot hurt.
Anyway, I am sorry to be so long-winded and appreciate the time you have taken
to read this. If anybody wishes to discuss this with me further, please feel
free to contact me directly.
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