Fix the criticism

Many criticism can be done to the scientists, some not so authentic. Regard to legitimate criticism, scientists themselves make no reservation in judging the faults of his peers. The critical culture is very strong in science, so it would be impossible to advance without this practice. An example of such criticism can be seen in the text “When the creativity goes down” published here. There are however other forms of criticism which do not concern to experimental correction patch or something like that. For example, those made in texts “The robes of authority,” “Politics and productivity books (In Portuguese),” or “Who has a duty to disseminate science (in Portuguese).” Briefly, the texts address issues such as the lack of moderation in public pronouncements, a pronounced disinterest in books in favor of papers and lack of appreciation of the public understanding of science by our scientists.

Whenever I write something with content most critical I’m concerned whether not have to leave gaps that can allow the reader to draw free conclusions or generate some distortion of the original message. This does not seem to be a worry by some unskilled science critics. There are many examples of inadequate criticism to science is purpose or for lack of a more rigorous trial before pronouncements. A criticism that bothers me a lot is that with respect to the use of animals for experimental purposes.

One of the critical currents, especially on social networks, the figure of the scientist accused of being a creature devoid of feelings, uninterested in any matters of day by day and cold-blooded killer. One comic strip shows a scenario composed by a laboratory with several caged animals and a scientist performing an experiment. The scientist wearing lab coat and has an arrogant air is challenged by a caged chimpanzee – Hey Einstein, how about seeking a cure for insensitivity to other species?

I doubt any researcher feels pleasure while sacrificing an animal after their in vivo experiments. In reality, it is more easily observable face of suffering for having to do it. Scientists who work with test subject generally have a greater empathy to animals than many people openly opposed to animal testing laboratory. If you want to see some truly bizarre expressions of criticism take a walk on Avenue Paulista (São Paulo-SP) by evening. On the sidewalks, vying for the hikers attention the most diversified groups. Since members of strange sects that preach the Messiah back to some political activists and movements against the use of laboratory animals.

On one occasion I came across a group that showed scenes of animal sacrifice in the laboratory. The freak show had screams, blood and expressions of suffering in slow motion. It is important to note that the scenes were apparently some lost recording of postwar. After all who knows the laboratory routines know that the situation is not even remotely like that the group wanted to do believe.

You need to understand, we don’t do research with laboratory animals for convenience or satisfaction, but for lack of any other means. Someone might ask: “The absence of alternatives justifies resignation by scientists?” To which I answer, no! But my answer is not to please many, since my “no” has many branches. 1. No, nothing justifies resignation; 2. No, I don’t believe there’s resignation by scientists, what there’s is lack of investments to advance on use of other technologies, 3. No, we are not idly waiting for alternative fall from the sky, every day we get hard for an experimental design as independent as possible of animal use. In large research centers there are quotas for use of laboratory animals by researcher and a bureaucratic way that any researcher would certainly prefer to avoid if they can. Thus, in vitro tests are generally desirable, the problem is that they don’t answer important questions, especially regarding the long-term benefits and toxicity of new drugs. 4. No, do not expect scientists endorse campaigns against the use of laboratory animals.

The irresponsible way as many groups propagate that science deals with subject test ultimately generates a hate speech. There are cases of torched or vandalized laboratories by animus activists. So, let’s fix the criticism. Don’t direct their anger against the work of scientists or accuse them of insensitivity. Remember who took Homo sapiens from its pedestal and taught us we are not more important than an amoeba or a bacteria were scientists.

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This work by Alison Felipe Alencar Chaves is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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