Monkey in thinking pose
by Lisa Kalner Williams
Categories: Animals.
Photo: Flickr via kevinlaw

Monkey in thinking pose

A panel led by Sir Patrick Bateson, president of the Zoological Society of London, has concluded that over nine percent of all licensed experiments on monkeys between 1996 and 2006 in the United Kingdom were conducted without a benefit to science or medicine.

Here’s something more chilling that was found in Bateson’s report. Some scientists who conducted these failed experiments neglected to publish details of their research. Gee, wouldn’t a ”Hey, this won’t really help you find what you’re looking for” report of these tests would be a nice professional courtesy, save future researcher time, and spare the lives of thousands of primates? C’mon, people! 

Luckily, the panel spoke strongly against such unscientific practice : “Researchers using NHPs (non-human primates) have a moral obligation to publish results – even if negative – in order to prevent work being repeated unnecessarily… the funders (of future experiments) should consider with particular care the likely balance of the animal welfare cost against the potential benefits arising from funding that application.”

Do these findings surprise you? Did you expect the number of failed experiments to be higher? Lower?

About Lisa Kalner Williams

Lisa Kalner Williams is a lover of rock 'n' roll and founder of Sierra Tierra Marketing, a social analytics, strategy, and education company. She lives with her vegan family in the Greater Boston area.

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  • Carissa

    Honestly, I’m not surprised, though I would have expected the percentage of failure to be higher.

    How are they measuring ‘failure,’ though? Is it when findings don’t translate to humans in follow-up studies, or is it just when the study fails solely on the primates?