2 comments on “Research facing huge cuts in Australia – Perth protest Thursday April 14

  1. If we cut funding to animal experiments we would have more than enough for valid research…1998

    My own medical perspective is that animal cancer research should be regarded as the scientific equivalent of gossip – with about the same chance of turning out to be true, i.e. truly effective in humans. Some gossip turns out to be true, but most of it does not…and gossip can cause great anguish for those affected, in this case millions of desperate cancer patients worldwide. G. Timothy Johnson MD, Boston Globe, May 22.

    The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades, and it simply didn’t work in humans. Dr Richard Klausner, Director, National Cancer Institute, LA Times, May 6.

    God knows we’ve cured mice of all sorts of tumours. But that isn’t medical research. Thomas E Wagner, senior scientist at Ohio University’s Edison Biotechnology Institute, the Columbus Dispatch, March 20.

    2005

    Given that many of these investigational anticancer drugs eventually fail, the animal models on which clinical trials are predicated must at best be limited in power, and at worst wildly inaccurate. Dr Alexander Kamb, Global Head of the Oncology Disease Area at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 4, 161 – 165.

    The problem with animal carcinogenicity tests is not their lack of sensitivity for human carcinogens, but rather their lack of human specificity. A positive result has poor predictive value for humans. Knight, Bailey & Balcombe, British Medical Journal USA, Vol. 5, p477.

    http://www.curedisease.net http://www.navs.org http://www.vivisectioninformation.org

  2. G’day, folks :-)

    Government – meaning tax-payer – funded research is under threat, but is that a bad thing? Has the government realised, or been informed by a ‘WikiLeak’, that the true beneficiaries (some would claim the *only* beneficiaries) of publicly-funded research are the researchers? Having spent 35 years of a working life in an establishment devoted to teaching and to research I am convinced that much ‘research’ is better described as ‘income enhancement for the researcher’.

    In the race to ‘perish or publish’, in the constant battle for future grant money, the public is ‘spun’ the occasional highly-emotive good-news story, usually featuring the obligatory child, or children. As the right to own and to develop the intellectual property of the research escape overseas the reputation of the researcher(s) is richly embellished. The researcher benefits personally in at least two ways; improved prospects for career promotion and a greater likelihood of attracting future funds. And of course the government now has an obligated ‘person of note’ to promote its policies.

    On the other hand the government might just have had a moral revelation of its own. The Federal Treasurer blocked the attempt by the Singapore Stock Exchange to take over the Australian Stock Exchange, saying that such a take over would not be in Australia’s national interest. Was the treasurer influenced by knowing that the Singapore Stock Exchange is controlled by the Singapore government?

    Is the Australian government now realising (I hesitate to say ‘believing’) that the funding of research leads unavoidably to a conflict of interest? Was the government influenced in this realisation by the government’s funding of school chaplains being referred to the Commonwealth Ombudsman? This author does wonder if it is just a convenient coincidence that combatting ‘climate change’ is government policy while so many ‘scientists’ (whatever they are) are adamant that the [climate] ‘science’ is beyond doubt.

    Eric Carwardine, in Perth, Western Australia

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