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Mike Michael CSISP Sociology Department GoldsmithsUniversity of London Animal Experiments and the Making of the Public.

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Presentation on theme: "Mike Michael CSISP Sociology Department GoldsmithsUniversity of London Animal Experiments and the Making of the Public."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mike Michael CSISP Sociology Department GoldsmithsUniversity of London Animal Experiments and the Making of the Public






7 Scientist: So I think there is a sort of gradual deterioration in the perceptions of science in general and skepticism; there's increasing skepticism if you think about what scientists do, why and the value of it. So that hasn't helped as a sort of background to these features that you've picked out (concerns about xenotransplantation). Someone needs to do a good sort of PR job on science or maybe just the applicability of the research that's going on. Convince people why it's necessary, and yes there is a risk but there's also a bigger benefit….

8 Regulator A: We are aware that there's been BSE Inquiry; ….there's also been things that have dented people's faith in the NHS. Um not not that there's any logical connection between xenotransplantation and the Bristol Inquiry or Shipman or any of those things, but they've all made public more and more aware of the fallibility of doctors um and then there is er you know, BSE and then um discussions about the source of HIV and so some beginning of understanding of zoonoses. Um but those are contexts within which people are also thinking about xenotransplantation, so that the same, there's a a recognition that pe, that er that, you know, the greater public needs to understand what's done in their name, with their resources, in order to better their lives. And also, a sort of, a growing awareness but not necessarily understanding of um you know, you can't really trust scientists and doctors. That seemed to be a bit of a theme for a while. It's gone away again now, hasn't it, but it's Regulator B: Quietened right down, yes. Regulator A: But it could burst out again….

9 Time - since the 1940s, positive attitude to animal experiments decreases Gender - women tend to be less positive Age - Younger persons less favourably disposed to animal experimentation Education - more scientifically ‘knowledgeable’, the more positive Political leaning - more right wing, more positive toward animal experimentation Species – less positive if apes, monkeys cats or dogs Outcome – more positive if perceived to benefit children, combat severe illness Pain and suffering – less positive, the more pain experienced by animals Regulatory stringency – can regulation ensure protection of animals? Alternatives – are there alternative techniques that don’t use animals?

10 “If we consider bioethical maturity as a ratio of those who consider both benefits and risks (specifically of xenotransplantation), then the (Japanese) public could be argued to be mature in this sense” (Mercer et al, 2002, p.359).

11 A:I think having seen the photo and that, you sort of grin at it because it's probably the first time you've actually sat and looked at it for more than a couple of seconds when it's flashed up on television and there's been a little bit of spin about the institute that's done the research and why. And it hasn't actually been sort of explained.

12 A:A lot of people have come to me over the last few years and said, "Have you heard the latest breakthrough?" And cause I’ve got (illness) I get the information on it and read it, but somehow it sort of gets lost and you don't hear of it again. B: Yeah. C:You hear about it and then it's gone. B:I can understand that them making an announcement in the Lancet or something like that. That if they didn't issue it on general release until they were 12 to 18 months from the actual usage as far as the general public was concerned, I think psychologically it would be far better.

13 Trust: Lay people aware of having to make judgments of trust about the source of information is being compared in the process of cost-benefit thinking. Telos: Lay people commented that their cost-benefit thoughts on xenotransplantation are irrelevant to any broader process of decision-making – would happen anyway. Trump: Whatever ethical concerns one has, these are dropped in the face of death: a “bottom line” argument - one will try anything to survive.

14 Initial Models

15 THE NEUROSCOPE Contains a virtual representation of neural cell culture. A panel on the neuroscope allows you to send stimuli to the actual lab-based culture. Changes in the culture will be conveyed back to the virtual representation in the neuroscope.

16 Fly-paper robotic clock This robot uses flypaper on a roller mechanism to entrap insects. As the flypaper passes over a blade, captured insects are scraped into a microbial fuel cell. Electricity is generated to turn the rollers and power a small LCD clock.

17 Coffee table mousetrap robot A mechanised iris is built into the top of a coffee table, and is linked to a infra red motion sensor. Crumbs and food debris left on the table attract mice, who gain access to the table top via a hole build into one over size leg. Their motion activates the iris, the mouse falls into the microbial fuel cell housed under the table, and generates the energy to power the iris and sensor.

18 Some Contrasts ‘SOCIAL SCIENCE-Y’‘DESIGNERLY’ PUBLIC Democratic deficit Citizenly in the context of policy- making Capacity for ambiguity Thoughtful in a context of complexity ENGAGEMENT Process of argumentational clarification Solution-seeking ‘Being together’ Artistic encounter and exploration of complexity Inventive problem - making ‘Becoming together’ SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY ControversyBlack hole-ness


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