In 1992, along with Les Ward, then director of Scottish anti-vivisection group Advocates for Animals, Prof. Blakemore was a founding member, of The Boyd Group3, an independent think-tank concerned with the ethics of experimentation on other animals. The group’s claimed objectives included reviewing the role of institutional ethics committees, refining laboratory animal use, the use of animals for testing cosmetics, genetic engineering, the use of non-human primates, and the use of animals in testing household products.
Blakemore, who has specialised in vision and the development of the brain, has published hundreds of scientific papers, a number of books and talks regularly in the media on these subjects and various related topics4.
Realizing the controversy inherent between animal rights and the use of other animals of experimental test subjects, ARZone hopes to bring further understanding of both sides of this controversy to a wide and varied audience.
Prof. Blakemore has long been the subject of criticism from within the animal advocacy movement for his support of medical and scientific experimentation on nonhuman test subjects. Speaking in The Observer5 in 2003, Blakemore has said: 'I believe in openness and dialogue' and it is in this spirit that he has agreed to participate in a wide-ranging discussion with the members of ARZone. He is expected to be asked questions about the medical, scientific and moral questions surrounding animal experimentation in the context of the use and treatment of other animals as well as animal rights.
ARZone hosts weekly Question and Answer sessions with a variety of people who are connected in some way to issues surrounding human-nonhuman relations with the goal of increasing understanding and education. While ARZone does not endorse or promote the views of its guests and forum participants, support for animal experimentation is one of the clearest manifestations of the ideology of speciesism and human supremacy in society, therefore we are obligated to examine it thoroughly.
For more information, please visit ARZone on the web at: http://www.arzone.ning.com