Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wisconsin Discovery Portal

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison and many other large research universities around the country, responses to open records requests are censored—redacted, in the parlance of public records statutes and regulations.

The number one redaction is a researcher’s name. The claim made by industry to justify this particular bit of censorship is that researchers must be protected from wild revolutionaries and domestic terrorists who might go berserk upon learning the name of someone torturing animals. It’s a bogus claim all the way round of course since federal databases like CRISP and PubMed are easily accessible by the public, to say nothing of researchers’ labs’ web pages.

And, as if further evidence of this odd schizoid duplicity about privacy is needed, UW has published a database of UW researchers called Wisconsin Discovery Portal that
… contains over 2,600 carefully maintained research profiles, is an outgrowth of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery project’s goal of facilitating collaborative research. Each profile has been gathered by WDP staff by searching existing public websites and contains information such as:

Contact information, title, and appointments
Research tools and facilities
Publications, patents, and funding
A detailed description of research interests
And, it allows keyword searches. So, if someone wanted to know who on campus tortures dogs, cats, birds, primates, turtles, or some other animal, much information is now more readily available.

It’s a good resource for those who want to know who is doing what to whom. I guess UW isn’t as worried about animal rights activists as they like to claim in public.


Anonymous said...

You are right. Redacting out the names does not help, as the bombings in the past years have clearly demonstrated. It only gives people like you something to talk about.

Anonymous said...

there is absolutely no proof at this point that animal rights activists are to blame for the recent bombings, despite what you want to believe from fox news. just as the recent seattle arsons have come up with no proof whatsoever that ar activists are to blame. maybe its time for YOU to actually start talking about how this whole "green scare" to label ar activists and everyone they associate with as terrorists is simply a ploy to discredit and instill fear in anyone with an opposing viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

What proof you need?

They already claimed responsibility for many of the bombings if you read the communiques in:

Except, of course, for the Feldheim case where people got hurt and they nearly killed the entire family... Not good press for the movement if you actually kill someone, eh?