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New date set for animal research forum

March 10, 2011 By David Tenenbaum

In response to student requests, a talk by Charles Snowdon, University of Wisconsin–Madison psychology professor, entitled “The Cotton-top Tamarin: Research for Conservation and Understanding Human Behavior,” has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 29. The talk had been set for spring break.

The forum is the second of three on campus intended to highlight the ethics of animal research.

On Monday, April 4, Gary Varner of Texas A&M University will discuss the basis of moral status, personhood, and near-personhood, in relation to animal research.

Both sessions will be held at 7-8:30 p.m. in Room 1100, Grainger Hall, 975 University Ave. Both sessions are free and open to the public, and will include an extensive audience question-and-answer session.

In announcing the series, Eric Sandgren, an associate professor of pathobiological sciences who directs the university’s Research Animal Resource Center, said, “We want these talks to be discussions with the community on the costs, benefits and ethics of animal research. More transparency, more communication and better information helps everyone involved in this emotional debate.”

The events, in response to interest in the ethics of animal research among some members of the Dane County Board, were proposed last year by UW–Madison Provost Paul M. DeLuca Jr. and Graduate School Dean Martin Cadwallader. The goal of the programs is to increase public discussion and understanding of issues surrounding animal research.