This is turning into a bit of a theme week for me but, what the hell. In todays paper, the Herald Ed Board impressively calls for an honest debate on the morality of primate experimentation undertaken on campus.
This editorial board does not wish to argue in favor or against the research at this university. That’s because we’ve not been engaged in enough debate and fact finding to set out a course in one direction or the other.
But in this case, neither has the university. It may be that the procedures and processes in place are there for a reason and do justify the research being conducted in the name of scientific and medical progress. But there is a need to reevaluate this long-standing policy, as controversial and onerous as it may seem, to assure the university community that the platform we stand on is supported by sound pillars.
The Board refrains from taking a position for lack of relevant knowledge, and thats fine. But, that seems to imply that they will engage in fact finding in the future. Two thoughts on that.
First, if the Board does choose to follow up on this implied promise they should bring in people beside Eric Sandgren and Rick Marolt, because neither present particularly exhaustive arguments right now. The UW philosophy department is one of the best in the english speaking world. There are much better options out there.
Second, the Board should take a stand on this in the near future. This has the potential of being a situation in which the Ed Board can be influential and controversial (making it good for the paper too) without being outlandish. The administration has a lot to lose here, and considerable pressure is going to be needed from mainstream sources to get them to even reexamine their policies.
Finally, where is the Cardinal on this?