Timeline: The ALF Raid at the University of Iowa Jul08


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Timeline: The ALF Raid at the University of Iowa

A case study and timeline of events on the 2004 Animal Liberation Front raid of the University of Iowa.

One morning in November 2004, researchers arrived at the psychology building at the University of Iowa to find 401 animals gone and over $450,000 in damaged equipment. It was the largest and most well-executed lab raid in years.

The raid brought about both a media firestorm and renewed empowerment of activists who were reminded once again: It’s still possible to carry out large-scale lab raids.

Another major lesson from the action was how much powerful media can the ALF can generate. Too often the dominant belief is that the ALF generates “bad media”. I believe this timeline of events following the raid shows otherwise.

This is borrowed from a North American Animal Liberation Press Office newsletter in 2005. The authors combed through the events that followed the action, and show that the attention brought on the plight of lab animals by the raid was both positive, and unlikely to have been obtained through legal means.

Although written in timeline form (versus a narrative format), I find that it reads like a story, and the story is extremely compelling. I hope it will be both educational and inspirational, and show that there are two sides to every ALF action: Liberation, and education.

Case History: How One Raid by the ALF at the University of Iowa Made a Difference

“This month’s newsletter features a highly instructive summary of and commentary on the amazing events that have unfolded at University of Iowa since the bold ALF raid on the laboratories of the Psychology Department in November 2004.

As documented by a witness with direct knowledge of the ongoing scientific fraud and duplicity at UI, this is an edifying case study in how “researchers” distort the actions of the ALF to the press and public, cloak themselves in a veil of secrecy, seek shelter in the long arms of the state when their lies are exposed, and run from debate when challenged by credible opponents.

It is yet further documentation about the immoral treachery and scientific fraud of vivisection, and why the ALF feels compelled to take the extraordinary actions it does. By liberating animals, destroying nearly a half million dollars worth of property used to torture and exploit animals, by taking video footage documenting extreme animal abuse that was released to national media, and precipitating a productive ongoing critical debate over animal torture and fraud at UI and vivisection in general, this was by all means a highly significant and successful strike by the ALF.

November 14th, 2004In the late Saturday night or early Sunday morning hours of November 14, 2004, the ALF carried out one of the most daring raids this country has seen in many years. The ALF broke into the third floor psychology laboratory on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, IA and liberated 401 animals–88 mice and 313 rats.

November 14th, 2004UI seals off Seashore Hall and calls in a Haz-Mat team to address the damage. The building is closed to all students, faculty and staff indefinitely. Researchers began to float the lie in the media that the ALF created a dangerous chemical spill. This whopper allowed them to keep independent witnesses away from the scene and to demonize the ALF as hooligans or terrorists rather than taking brave and risky action to liberate animals from conditions of severe abuse.

November 14th, 2004 Mid-afternoon: Reporters begin contacting local animal rights activists for information about a possible theft of laboratory animals from Spence Labs in Seashore Hall. The reporters are operating on limited information from the police scanner and from interviewing personnel who discovered the scene. The reporters state that hundreds of animals are missing, that chemicals have been spilled and that slogans have been spray painted on the walls. Referring to his notes, one reporter says, “The letters A-L-F were spray painted on the wall.” He then asks a local animal rights activist, “Do you know what that stands for?”

November 15th, 2004 News of the liberation breaks. It is the lead story on every news station and makes the front page of all the local papers. The UI makes concerted attempts to downplay the possible role of the ALF and refuses to acknowledge the missing animals. The UI consistently portrays the event as a chemical spill and suggests that chemicals were spilled randomly throughout the building.

November 16th, 2004Noted for his Cartesian dinosaur-like qualities and pompous egomania, extreme vivisector Mark Blumberg is quoted in a news article saying “What they did to the animals was worse that what they could accuse us of doing. There were animals that drowned because of this. It was horrible. How they think that they’re doing something that is for the benefit of animal rights is beyond me.”

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041116/ NEWS02/411160393/1001/NEWS

Similar statements were made by the head of the Psychology Department, Greg Oden, who deceptively stated that some animals who were left behind after the raid died because support equipment malfunctioned as a direct result of the raid.

These claims, especially Blumberg’s, are dubious. First, check the source: this is a man who co-authored a paper titled “Do Infant Rats Cry?” Blumberg’s idea of humane care apparently consists of taking baby rats away from their mothers, subjecting them to cold temperatures, and then measuring their cries. Blumberg suggests that these cries are really more like “sneezes” or “grunts” and are just the rat pup’s physiologic response to being cold. He assures himself and anyone who bothers to read his useless research that the cries of baby rats are not signs of distress.

Second, Blumberg, who for public relations purposes appears to be seized with sudden concern for the well-being of the animals he tortures and kills, is contradicted by the November 18, 2004 meeting minutes of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) regarding the break-in at Spence, which state:

“Chemicals were spilled in some office and laboratory areas of the buildings with vials broken, computers smashed and several pieces of equipment destroyed or damaged. The animal housing areas were mainly trashed with just litter. Some animals were left behind and they appear to be fine. Office of Animal Resources (OAR) caretakers were allowed into the building to check on the animals and make sure they were fine.”

Thus, according to the IACUC, which UI officials have repeatedly assured the public provides zealous oversight and humane care for all animals killed at UI, the animals that were not liberated were unharmed.

Blumberg’s suggestion that animals were harmed by the ALF is a common tactic that animal abusers use in the wake of a direct action. In order to cover up their role as active participants and instigators of animal abuse, vested interests always suggest that the animals are worse off after a visit by the ALF. This of course ignores the fact that in the hands of someone like Blumberg, an animal would be hard pressed to be much worse off.

As IACUC meeting minutes from October 24, 2002 reveal, following a site visit by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), the IACUC determined that “a new position of Animal Research Compliance Monitor is necessary to assure regulatory compliance in all animal research facilities and laboratories on the University of Iowa campus.”

Apparently, a recent visit by AAALAC revealed some serious compliance problems at UI:

“The site visitors found one lab performing a 2nd survival surgery that was not approved on the protocol. This was in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Blumberg. Dr. Sjolund informed the lab personnel that all surgical procedures (or any other unauthorized procedures) were to ‘cease and desist’ in this lab until further notice. Dr. Sjolund and Dr. Cooper subsequently met with Dr. Blumberg and permitted his lab to resume surgeries on neonatal rats, but the restriction remained in effect for adult rat surgical procedures.”

The IACUC imposed several conditions on Blumberg before his full rat torturing privileges could be reinstated and admonished Dr. Blumberg (who was present at the meeting) with the following feather slap on the wrist:

“The IACUC will also inform Dr. Blumberg that this situation is considered a major violation of animal welfare regulations and subsequent violations could result in additional sanctions including the withdrawal of IACUC approval for his laboratory to conduct animal research.”

Another common misconception perpetuated by media was the suggestion that the liberated animals were “released.” They are probably referring to the fact that the animals were taken from their cages, but the public thinks this means either (1) animals were released inside the building, or, (2) animals were released away from the site — either in an open field or some other terrain that would conceivably be strange or unfamiliar to the animal. Opponents then latch on to this information, particularly the latter suggestion, citing the fate of the animals (in this case domesticated rodents) who are ostensibly left to fend for themselves in a strange and frightening world.

Even though this was clarified in the ALF communiqué sent out following the raid, this distorted detail was something opponents capitalized on as a way to denigrate the freedom bestowed on these animals following the break-in.

November 18th, 2004 UI President David Skorton responds to the ALF communiqué claiming responsibility for the liberation. Droning on and on, Skorton recites the familiar denunciation that all University officials are required to read in response to direct action which exposes the institutionalized violence that takes place within the confines of its walls. His response reads like a page from the American Medical Association’s playbook, which implores extreme vivisectors to continue manipulating the general public’s fears about health in order to assuage moral and ethical objections to animal research.


He receives an email from Dr. Steven Best, taking him to task for claiming that there is “no possible intellectual defense for ALF actions.” Best reminds him of the noble history of property destruction and civil disobedience in the US, and suggests he curl up with Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals for some good intellectual defenses of animal liberation.

November 23rd, 2004 The ALF releases a videotape of the break-in. The footage is shown on all local news stations and is the lead story. This is the first time that the UI has even had to acknowledge the hideous experiments being conducted on its campus.

This is also the first time the public has been able to see the real victims at the heart of this story. Many animals can be seen with electrodes protruding from their skulls, and many of the animals are grossly disfigured by the researchers’ hideous delusions about the nature of “research” that allegedly is medically important and scientifically necessary and progressive. The video footage is a sharp contrast to the UI’s version of events because it shows a well-planned, well-executed animal liberation plan.

The footage makes it clear that the raid was no random act of violence or a chaotic chemical spill, but rather a carefully orchestrated and daring nonviolent act of liberation.

December 3rd, 2004 Two students publish opinion pieces in The Daily Iowan that challenge the University’s ongoing attempt to portray it as an innocent victim subjected to an unfair and undeserved attack. Both opinion pieces address the philosophical motivations that drive activists to carry out direct action and question the legitimacy of a belief system that can characterize property destruction as violent without even addressing, much less condemning the unprincipled destruction of animal lives.


Both students were later contacted by the FBI.

One student, well-intentioned but naïve about the repressive nature of federal law enforcement officials hell-bent on defending animal exploitation industries, agrees to answer limited questions in the presence of her attorney. Following that meeting she feels certain, based on particular and repeated lines of questioning, that the FBI has been monitoring her email. She refused to provide agents with names of any other activists she knew and made it clear to them that she would only answer limited questions that pertained to her own participation in legal activities related to animal rights.

This activist made the mistake of assuming that FBI agents are reasonable human beings who can be made to understand that animal rights activists are just trying to get people to quit torturing and killing animals for profit and sadistic pleasure. Having learned from her experience the importance of refusing to answer any questions from law enforcement officials, she quickly contacted other area activists and provided them with information from the National Lawyer’s Guild about the right to refuse to participate in these law enforcement fishing expeditions.

This makes something clear — in the aftermath of a direct action, law enforcement officials always contact local AR activists. It is thus imperative that members of the ALF have absolutely no contact with local activists through any medium whatsoever. The importance of this fact cannot be overemphasized. In the wake of a direct action, well-intentioned but uniformed local activists may find themselves suddenly faced with the pressures that law enforcement officials bring to bear. It is imperative for everyone involved that these activists are not in possession of any information that can be of use to law enforcement officials. It has also been determined that the FBI is taking the trash from local activists’ homes hoping to find clues about the raid.

The second student was prepared when the FBI showed up on her door step early one morning. She told them she was under no obligation to answer their questions, assured them she had no knowledge about the break-in, and said she did not want to answer additional questions. Interestingly, one of the agents told her that they were interested in some of her email “posts” and then quickly corrected himself saying he meant “opinions.” Whether intentional or not, this comment left the activist with the impression that her activities and internet posts were being monitored on the web, an illegal tactic certainly not novel for the FBI who brought this country great things favored by the Constitution like COINTELPRO.

December 9th, 2004 UI administrators take out a full page ad in The Daily Iowan to condemn the student opinions that ran on 12/3. The UI also emails all faculty, students and staff a copy of the “Open Letter the University Community” wherein UI officials claimed they were “disturbed and disappointed” by student editorials that attempted to justify the raid.

December 13th, 2004 Newspapers report that Seashore was broken into and vandalized for the second time in less than a month. No group claims responsibility for the action and officials do not believe there is any connection between the two break-ins.

December 27th, 2004 Two UI student groups send an open letter to the UI inviting it to participate in an open public debate on the scientific merits of animal research with Dr. Ray Greek. Despite repeated invitations to UI researchers and national pro-vivisection organizations, not one single proponent of animal research was willing to appear.

January 10th, 2004 The Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences (FBPCS) sends a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller whining about the UI break-in and passing off their vested interest propaganda claiming that killing animals is necessary in order for vivisectors to keep getting paid. In their letter they employ the familiar self-serving doublespeak — they claim to be afraid when it suits them and feign courage in the form of a furious defense of their status quo. They stridently claim that they will continue in their heartless pursuit of killing animals and publishing worthless pseudoscience babble.


The FBPCS also sends a suck-up letter to the NIH thanking it for pouring funding into the coffers of animal killers at the UI.


January 20th, 2005 Dr. Steven Best, Chair of the Philosophy Department at University of Texas, El Paso, presents a lecture titled “The New Abolitionism: Civil Rights, Animal Liberation and Moral Progress” (for the text of this talk, see: http://www.drstevebest.org/papers/vegenvani/new_abolitionism.htm). The event is well-attended by students, faculty, press, researchers, UI administrators, and plainclothes law enforcement officials. The crowd is too large for the planned venue and has to be moved to a ballroom that can accommodate the 130+ crowd. Dr. Best’s talk was extremely well-received, even by numerous UI researchers who had come with claws drawn to attack every word.

A couple of researcher extremists and terrorists, however, including one that looked like Jerry Garcia on too much Cherry Garcia, verbally accosted Best after the lecture, acting like a demented quivering, incoherent, squealing, babbling madman in desperate need of a straightjacket and padded room.

Following the lecture, Mark Blumberg approached one of the event’s organizers wherein the following exchange was overheard. When Blumberg was asked how many animals he had killed during the course of his career, he glibly stated “Oh, hundreds and hundreds.” And then he smiled, apparently relishing the memory of all those baby rats crying out for the warmth and comfort of their mother’s nests and the countless deaths he has meted out over the years. When asked “And how many humans have you saved?” Blumberg contemptuously huffed “None. I am not trying to save humans. And that just goes to show how little you know about what we are trying to do.” Thus, in his own words, Blumberg admits that his research has not benefited humans, nor is it intended to.

February 2nd, 2005 In an article published in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Gazette, a reporter attempts to discredit the ALF’s claims about animal research at UI. The article (“Animal treatment claims against UI lab examined,” 1A February 02, 2005) said that following the break-in, the ALF “alleged professor Amy Poremba was doing research on eight rhesus monkeys kept on the fourth floor of Spence Labs.”

According to this news article,

“Her research proposal says the only animal she is using in research is the Norwegian rat. Poremba declined to comment for this article, but UI spokesman Steve Parrott said no primate research was going on at Spence Labs when the ALF break-in happened.”

Once again UI officials were attempting to mislead the public by implying that Poremba does not use primates in experimentation. But Poremba is clearly involved in primate experimentation as evidenced by her recent publication in Nature entitled “Species-specific calls evoke asymmetric activity in the monkey’s temporal poles” (listed on the website of UI’s Psychology Department).

Further, documents filed by the University of Iowa with the United States Department of Agriculture unequivocally indicate that the University uses primates in experimentation. Whether primates were being experimented upon during the time when the ALF broke into Spence Labs or whether the primates were housed in that building is not the issue. Clearly, UI would say almost anything to divert public attention from the truth.

February 11th, 2005 An Ohio-based national watchdog group, Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN), holds a news conference in front of Spence Labs to announce an official investigation into the treatment of primates at UI. SAEN issued a statement that read in part:

“The careers of these scientists reveal a tragic irony: Under the guise of alleviating mental suffering in humans they induce distress, injure and kill animals who are intentionally bred to be docile. In order to learn the truth about the use of primates at the University of Iowa, Stop Animal Exploitation Now has launched an investigation. Our goal is to provide the people of Iowa with the truth about the animal experimentation underway at this University. It is clear that through the use of half-truths, misleading and false statements UI officials have tried to obscure the truth. We will not allow this to continue unopposed.”

FBI agents videotape the news conference and UI sends out armed personnel from the Department of Public Safety to close off the sidewalk and guard the building against the representative who stands calmly in front of the building reading a prepared statement and answering questions from the media.

February 12th, 2005 In news coverage following SAEN’s press conference, UI researcher Gary Van Hoesen attempts to divert public attention away from his research with evasive vituperation:
“Calling out supposed NIH-funded animal experiments, Stormont targeted researcher Gary Van Hoesen, a UI professor of anatomy, cell biology and neurology, for his research on macaque monkeys.

‘This is not about science,’ she said about research she called a ‘senseless waste of lives and tax dollars. This is about money — attracting hundreds of thousands of dollars to UI’s coffers.’
However, Van Hoesen said he has not used monkeys since 1982. He now conducts research on the human brain related to Alzheimer’s disease. He called Stormont’s comments about money and science ‘shortsighted.’”

(UI target of animal rights group. Kristen Schorsch, Iowa City Press-Citizen, February 11, 2005. Available at http://www.all-creatures.org/saen/media-20050211-4.html)

By suggesting that SAEN’s criticism was unfounded, Van Hoesen deliberately misled the public about the true nature of his research. Van Hoesen has received funding from the National Institutes of Health for research involving nonhuman primates since 1979. His most recent abstract states:

“This renewal for years 21-25 describes experiments aimed at understanding the structural organization of the mesocortices that form the limbic lobe of the human and non-human primate brain.”

But Van Hoesen’s lies and extremist rhetoric are perhaps best illustrated by an article he recently co-authored which describes in chilling detail his most recent act of violent vivisection:

“A total of 10 hemispheres (from seven brains) from adult macaque (both Macaca mulatta and M. fascicularis) monkeys were studied. Four were contralateral to hemispheres injected with tracers outside the isthmus region for other investigations. The remaining six hemispheres were from normal monkeys. The animals were anesthetized with Nembutal (75 mg/kg) and perfused transcardially, in sequence, with 0.9% saline and 0.5% sodium nitrite, 4% paraformaldehyde in chilled 0.1 M phosphate buffer (PB, pH 7.2). The brain was then placed in 10, 20, and 30% sucrose in 0.1 M PB (pH 7.2) until it sank. Killing and surgery were performed according to The University of Iowa institutional review standards informed and enforced by US Department of Agriculture guidelines.”
(Ding, S.L., Morecraft, R.J. and Van Hoesen, G.W. The topography, cytoarchitecture and cellular phenotypes of cortical areas that form the cingulo-parahippocampal isthmus and adjoining retrocalcarine areas of the monkey. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 456:184-201.2003.)

As is often the case, the media deferred to the supposed ‘learned scholar’ and neglected to independently fact check Van Hoesen’s patently false claims. Perhaps Van Hoesen ought to conduct an experiment on himself to determine why some primates feel the need to lie and falsify information in order to cover-up the fact that they earn their living by killing primates.

Of course, AR critics latched on to this story, claiming it was emblematic of the alleged tendency among AR activists to falsify or exaggerate facts in order to garner media attention or public sympathy about the plight of animals in laboratories. Unfortunately, what vivisectors do to animals in the name of research is, by itself, so hideous and morally repugnant that AR activists don’t need to exaggerate the truth in order to convey those facts.

However, at least one AR opponent was forced to concede that the only false information that was being disseminated was being proffered by Van Hoesen himself:

SAEN: Animal Research? Must Be The Money!

Brian Carnell

Update/Correction: Thanks to Rick Bogle for pointing out that there are serious problems with the Press-Citizen’s reporting above that Van Hoesen has not done any research on monkeys since 1982. Van Hoesen is, in fact, listed as the last author on a number of studies that involve research on monkeys in recent years. Van Hoesen is probably correct that he hasn’t personally done any research on monkeys, and his name is probably being add [sic] as the last author due to convention of adding senior researchers and program heads on research that comes out of their department (Van Hoesen is the director of the Alzheimer’s disease program at the University of Iowa). But Stormont was being completely reasonable, in my opinion, in assuming that Van Hoesen was conducting research on monkeys since his name was attached to a number of such studies, and the Press-Citizen and/or Van Hoesen was being grossly unfair and deceptive in depicting Stormont as being ignorant or relying on outdated information. AnimalRights.Net regrets reproducing the Press-Citizen’s deceptive characterization of Stormont.


Note to vivisectors: this is why AR activists find it impossible to accept your claims about the so-called “humane treatment” of laboratory animals at face value. Bold lies such as the one outlined above can only lead AR activists, and the public at large, to wonder what else you are lying about.

March 18th, 2005 UI officials estimate that the break-in caused $450,000 in economic damages. UI also stated that the figure could increase.


UI reports that insurance will not cover the damages.

March 23rd, 2005 In an opinion piece in The Daily Iowan, a student chastises UI for refusing to participate in a debate with Dr. Ray Greek on the merits of vivisection. The student justly accuses the UI of being hypocritical — claiming it stands behind its research, but refusing to hand over records or allow anyone to see what is going on inside of the labs.


March 24th, 2005 Dr. Ray Greek presents a lecture on the UI campus dealing with the scientific merits of the animal model. Plain clothes law enforcement personnel conduct surveillance, photographing and videotaping audience members and the speaker throughout the lecture.

That morning a letter is printed in The Daily Iowan that personifies the misleading nature of the rhetoric of extreme vivisectors and their public relations campaigns which predictably trot out the tired claims that they are saving babies and curing cancer:

“I do not need to see a laboratory animal dying of cancer to know that I’d trade the lives of a hundred for the knowledge that will save my friend, a 31-year-old woman fighting breast cancer, the same disease that took her mother’s life 20 years ago.
I do not need to see a hypertensive pregnant mouse to know that I’d trade the comfort and the lives of a thousand for the knowledge that would have predicted my preeclampsia and allowed my doctors to treat it before it became life-threatening and forced the delivery of my first child at 24 weeks of gestation.
I have seen pain and suffering. I have seen the death of an innocent being. I choose to value human life and accept the sacrifice of rats, pigeons, rabbits, guinea pigs and others, whose death means life for our families and friends.”


March 25th, 2005 On the heels of Greek’s lecture, a letter appears in The Daily Iowan attempting to explain the failure of the animal model as a valid paradigm for studying human disease:

“Without a thorough grasp of how pervasive species differences are, researchers cannot tout the similarities as a basis for human medicine. Therefore, it is disingenuous to conflate the specter of human pain and suffering with the promise of relief from the sacrificed lives of lab animals. They will never predict our conditions accurately. Those who believe they do are choosing to ignore the very science their careers are based upon.”


Yet another letter states responds to the reader who would so willingly sacrifice the lives of thousands of sentient beings to save her own:

“And should one be motivated by an active conscience rather than solely by what is inaccurately perceived as necessary, it will suffice to consider the arrogance that informs Kenyon’s use of the word “sacrifice.

“The animals humans brutalize each day in the name of scientific objectivity no more wish to relinquish their lives than the murdered peasants of My Lai or Fallujah. Though the word “sacrifice” does not necessarily imply that they go willingly to their deaths, it is unpardonably loaded with arrogance.”


March 28th, 2005 Linda Maxson, Dean of the UI College of Liberal Arts & Sciences responds to the student op-ed on 3/23 and claims that “[the student’s] insistence on debate rather than inquiry is emblematic of the intellectual failure of those who oppose animal research.”

Strangely, she also states that “Most laboratory animals are bred specifically for the purpose of animal research. They are not – nor were they ever intended to be – pets.”

Apparently for Dean Maxson, it is morally acceptable to torture animals if they are not someone’s “pets”! But that never stopped vivisectors anyway, as they acquire many of their “research” animals by stealing cats and dogs from peoples’ homes.


It is also important to note that Maxson embraces a common public relations tactic that UI has employed in virtually every statement it has issued that deals with the issue of animal research. In a cunning act of rhetorical conflation emblematic of this PR strategy, Maxson repeatedly refers to the actions of the campus organization and then states “Those who wage an illegal and unethical campaign of intimidation and destruction do not advance the cause of animal safety or human welfare.”

At every opportunity, the UI has attempted to conflate the actions of campus AR groups with those of the ALF. This is a useful strategy. The UI has consistently portrayed the ALF as a violent terrorist organization, so when they conflate campus AR groups with the ALF they attempt to suggest that all AR activists are misanthropic lawbreakers. This allows the UI to reflexively deflect criticism and avoid the inquiries posed by the campus groups.


March 30th, 2005 The first of several letters appears in The Daily Iowan responding to the Dean’s incredulous claims peremptorily dismissing any debate on the merits of animal research and her unprincipled defense of vivisection:

“Maxson stated that “insist[ing] on debate rather than inquiry is emblematic of the intellectual failure of those who oppose animal research,” that “debates are not forums for communicating information or achieving understanding,” and that “skilled debaters can ‘demonstrate’ that the Earth is flat by suppressing factual evidence to the contrary.”

Those are remarkable assertions. We have long used courtroom trials as forums for litigants to debate the gravest of issues and for juries to then render their verdicts. Political candidates at all levels ordinarily must face their opponents in a debate, and any candidate who refuses to do so justifiably faces an uphill battle on election day. Wanting to debate is not emblematic of intellectual failure. It is disappointing to see one of our campus leaders argue to the contrary.”


March 31st, 2005 In response to the Dean’s outrageous and poorly reasoned op-ed, several letters are printed. One letter states:

“Obviously, Maxson has great confidence that the public would fully support the research that is going on if people know what is truly happening. If that is the case, then she should invite [the student] to make an unexpected visit to as many labs at the UI as she wants, take as many pictures and videos as she pleases, and then hold a press conference to inform the members of the public on how their tax dollars are being spent.”

Another letter derides Maxson’s revisionist version of history, stating

“I was shocked by Maxson’s apparent poor mastery of the facts surrounding animal research in the United States. Reports from whistleblowers, undercover investigations, and evidence gathered during lab break-ins have been the primary motivating evidence behind every regulation now in place. At every step, the industry and its supporters have rallied in opposition and defended the most heinous examples of abuse and the scientists involved.”


As of this writing, the University of Iowa has not opened its laboratory doors to the norms of transparency fundamental to science and ethics. What more could they be hiding?”

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