Animal Research Deserves Defending

In a recent commentary, We must face the threats, in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers Dario Ringach and David Jentsch spoke out against animal rights extremism. They urged the scientific community to stand together and fight misconceptions about experiments using animals. That their plea has been heard is clear from the unanimously positive response it received on the Faculty of 1000 Biology website.

Faculty of 1000 Biology is an online service where leading researchers from around the world review papers in their field that catch their eye. Faculty members choose the articles they highlight and rarely has a paper received as much attention and praise as this piece on animal rights extremism. Within a week it became the most highly-rated paper of the past few years.

Corrina Darian-Smith of Stanford University calls it “a must read and an inspiration for us all”. Murray Sherman of the University of Chicago and Peter König of the Institute for Cognitive Science in Germany both recommend the article for a wider audience than just scientists, König suggesting it become part of school curricula.

Some scientists offered practical advice. Richard Morris of the University of Edinburgh recommends the publication of hard facts about animal research, as has been done in Europe, and Wendy Suzuki of New York University worries that researchers have spent too much time in their ivory towers and not enough time talking about their work: “If we do not do our part in educating the public, we will find the general public against us for all the wrong reasons.”

Corrina Darian-Smith, Faculty Member for F1000 Biology, is Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine at Stanford University

S. Murray Sherman, Faculty Member for F1000 Biology, is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Chicago

Peter König, Faculty Member for F1000 Biology, is Professor of Neurobiopsychology at the Institute of Cognitive Science in Osnabrck, Germany

Richard G.M. Morris, Section Head of Cognitive Neuroscience for F1000 Biology, is professor of Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh

Wendy Suzuki, Faculty Member for F1000 Biology, is Associate Professor of Neural Science at New York University

The full text of the evaluation of “We must face the threats” is available at

Faculty of 1000 Biology,, is a unique online service that helps you stay informed of high impact articles and access the opinions of global leaders in biology. Our distinguished international faculty select and evaluate key articles across biology, providing a rapidly updated, authoritative guide to the biomedical literature that matters.

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