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?

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less