I’ve just come home from taping a segment for the Sunday morning program “For the Record” on Madison’s CBS affiliate WISC-TV 3. I was on a panel talking about animal experimentation with my colleague, Rick Marolt, and UW researchers Eric Sandgren and Richard Davidson. You should be able to see the segment on line after it airs on June 22, 2008.
The most interesting insight was the result of off-camera discussion. Davidson seemed more than baffled by the primary point: that monkeys are so like us that any rational explanation for why we shouldn’t experiment on non-consenting humans would logically extend to them.
He could only repeat his position that if experiments on monkeys lead to improvements in human health care, then he’s for it. Period. He got a little huffy about it. When asked what characteristics monkeys have or are lacking that make it ok to use them, he would only say that if it helps humans, it’s ok. It’s like he couldn’t get his mind around the question.