COLLAR POPPIN, HEAD SWAPPIN
Full post here.
I’ll go with the mad scientist interpretation myself. Yes he gets credit for the surgeries he performed, publications, and brain cooling techniques (just like OJ won the Heisman and revolutionized college football), but this guy lost it a little. Rhesus monkey head transplants should not be allowed. Period. Mary Roach did a section about this in her book Stiff: The Curious Lives Of Human Cadavers (highly recommended). I know animal research isn’t a black and white issue, but this guy cut off two monkey heads, and tried to attach them to the other body!
No, No, No. Try a different way.
PsyDoctor8’s tags on this are hilarious.
By our standards today, he lost it A LOT, also he was funded by the gov to come up with a solution before the Soviets did, so no pressure. And he severed way more than two in his 18 trials, but naturally the negative prevails in our memory, and usually for good reason. But things were different then kids, there were TWO GERMANYS!
As a former animal researcher, I agree with you. However, we can all relax in the soothing glow of our iPads, that this type of experiment wouldn’t be condoned these days and it is these examples that helped create the standards we now exercise. I should have mentioned that since more than a few people wrote in about it. Labs that do translational neuroscience research these days are much more humane.
In Dr. White’s case, the ethics we now have in place that govern what & how animal research is carried out simply didn’t exist then and his lab wouldn’t get approval for this level of drastic experimentation to happen today. But just a few decades ago these things happened and not one eyebrow was raised… much like no one would’ve flinched at a medieval-time OJ (who’s football talents clearly didn’t save anyone). Meeting certain ethical standards, strict regulatory compliance and going through a rigorous IRB process similar to a human one has to be met. It’s certainly a debatable issue, I get it. Full disclosure- I did not do a thorough lit search on the effectiveness of rattle snake dancing, knitting for neurons or wishful thinking on neurological conditions, so it might be animals for a bit longer, guys.
It’s a cross between “look how far we’ve come/look how crazy we were/look what’s possible” and a dash of “but at what cost” and “how do we do better” while patting ourselves on the back for being far more enlightened about ethical treatment of all subjects and the advances that have contributed to a better quality of human life.
Also? I’m having steak for dinner, so that, along with all this will just about upset 28% of you.