Friday, June 8, 2007

Are UW Vivisectors Anti-Knowledge?

I've written about the University of Wisconsin, Madison's (apparently bumbled) efforts to site the Department of Homeland Security's hideously cruel and insanely dangerous lab, NBAF, in the nearby Town of Dunn a couple of times.

This post is about a conversation that occurred on a local web forum regarding the Dane County Board of Supervisors' vote against the UW's plans. You can read the entire thread here.

Of interest are the comments made by a poster going by the handle bleurose and the single comment by uwes98.

In an earlier thread, bleurose made known that she is a veterinarian involved in research. Because she knows Dr. Eric Sandgren, the vet who chairs two of the university IACUCs and is the acting director of the UW Research Animal Resources Center, I suspect bleurose is either a lab animal vet at the university or else, like Sandgren, a vet who is primarily a vivisector.

What I found interesting was their anti-intellectual anti-knowledge stance on the book Lab 257, an investigative work looking at the history of Plum Island, the lab that NBAF is allegedly intended to replace.

The Town of Dunn, nearly all its few residents apparently, read the book and voiced their concerns about the issues it raised during a town meeting with UW representatives about the proposed lab. At that time, none of the UW representatives had heard of the book, or at least said they hadn't when asked about it at the town meeting.

During subsequent meetings, they continued to play dumb whenever asked about it.

In the forum, bleurose said:
"Lab 257" is supposed to be some sort of "bible" for planning/siting/building a new lab and everything else that has been found out or written about such a topic should be dismissed? WHOO-HOO - that sure makes me feel a lot safer! However, not at all surprised that this has come up, a pseudo-treatise like this always does. Only surprise is that it didn't hit earlier.
But it came up months earlier during the first town meeting, and kept coming up.

In the forum, bleurose said:
I believe they have better things to do than read one book about one lab that had safety issues. What they DID take the time to do was ask DIRECTLY WHAT PEOPLE"S CONCERNS WERE. And yet, some are screeching about how they didn't take time & aren't concerned.
Except, the people said they were concerned about issues raised in the book, and no one from the UW took the time to read it and debunk it, let alone discuss it with the citizens.

And then, uwes98 chimes in with this gem:
More power to the pols who haven't read Lab 257. My ex works at Plum Island, and that book is just as much a work of fiction as the FBI's offer to let Hannibal Lecter visit there.
More power to the pols who remain uninformed?

No matter the issue, if someone recommends a book about a subject, why would someone else refuse to read it and discuss it? If it's full of crap, explain why.

The Town of Dunn read the book and was concerned about it; the UW rep's refusal -- continual refusal -- to read it and discuss the town's concerns speaks volumes about the utter disdain the university has for the public. Only the university's interests seem to matter at all.

When those from a purported educational institution refuse to educate themselves, you know something has gone wrong. A long time ago, the university changed course; education is no longer its major goal. Now it's grants and patents. It's all about money.

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