Is This An Act of Terrorism?

Is willfully destroying research an act of scientific terrorism?


In a post following the Boston Marathon bombing, Big Think blogger Derek Beres suggested we need to redefine the term "terrorism." 

Beres noted that the animal rights activist groups Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front were responsible for the most "terrorist" acts over the last decade. While the combined 84 actions taken by these groups didn't cause any deaths, that may have just been a matter of luck. As Beres argues, "Destroying property and burning mansions are not safe endeavors for getting any point across."

However, a number of so-called ‘Ag-Gag Bills’ are picking up steam in Congress and state legislatures that blur the lines between people who use bombs to blow up buildings and people who merely use cameras to record instances of animal cruelty. 

You can read Beres's insightful post here

Now, consider this twist. 

Scientists at the University of Milan reported yesterday that they may have lost years of work on autism and schizophrenia research after the Italian animal rights activist group Fermare Green Hill occupied their lab and tampered with their experimental protocols. The activists made off with an estimated 100 mice and rabbits. Some of the mice are expected to die very quickly outside of their controlled environment. 

"It will take three people at least a year to build up the colonies we had of mouse models of different psychiatric diseases," said the neurobiologist Michela Matteoli who lost most of her research. 

And so if their actions are the cause of more human suffering, has Fermare Green Hill committed an act of terror?

What do you think ? . . .

Is willfully destroying research an act of terrorism?

Related Articles
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less