May 31, 2010:
RESEARCH & REFORM - SHOULD WE TALK ABOUT THIS?
A week ago there was a resolution introduced before the Dane County Board that would create a citizens panel to study the ethics of UW research experimentation on monkeys. This week, the Madison City Council will consider a resolution opposing immigration policies that encourage discrimination. Both are the kinds of issues that have typically led to pretty heated debates over the role of local bodies of government with issues of national or global concern.
We've not always supported such use of City Council or County Board time. We'd also prefer that both of these issues be dealt with and resolved on a national level. But they haven't been. And they won't be. And they are both issues that to some degree - and not a small one at that - define us as a community, who we are and what we stand for. We think the citizens of this city and county should talk about whether or not local immigration policies are discriminatory, and if it is ethical to experiment on monkeys, especially because in neither case is there an obvious unbiased body that is capable or willing to lead. These are issues we should be talking about and if it takes a city council or county board resolution to prompt that debate we think that's appropriate.