In this era of budgetary constraints, the biggest threat to continuing biomedical research is often seen as governmental funding cutbacks. However, a much larger threat looms—the antiscientific programs of the various so-called animal rights groups. Unless clinicians and scientists mount a concerted defense of scientific investigation, the repressive antiscience movement will win out and thrust us into a Dark Ages scenario, with only a few gallant enough to maintain scientific thought until another Enlightenment. During World War II, the German clergyman Martin Niemoeller lamented the general apathy that allowed a small group of dedicated ideologues (the Nazi hierarchy) to terrorize the Germans: “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.” Not dissimilarly, the apathy of clinicians and biomedical scientists has permitted the radical animal rights movement to terrorize researchers and undermine our research freedom. In a call to action, the American Academy of Neurology has developed a statement (in association with the Foundation for Biomedical Research and other groups) on the threat to neurology research. This information was originally published in Neurology (1995;45: 609-610). In order to increase the dissemination of this important warning to clinicians and scientists everywhere, the Journal of Child Neurology in cooperation with the American Academy of Neurology is reprinting that material in this issue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology