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Accounting for Animal Experiments: Identity and Disreputable "Others"

Mike Michael and Lynda Birke
Science, Technology, & Human Values
Vol. 19, No. 2 (Spring, 1994), pp. 189-204
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/689748
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Accounting for Animal Experiments: Identity and Disreputable "Others"
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Abstract

This article considers how scientists involved in animal experimentation attempt to defend their practices. Interviews with over 40 scientists revealed that, over and above direct criticisms of the antivivisection lobby, scientists used a number of discursive strategies to demonstrate that critics of animal experimentation are ethically and epistemologically inferior to British scientific practitioners. The scientists portrayed a series of negative "others" such as foreign scientists, farmers, and pet owners. In this manner, they attempted to create a "socioethical domain" which rhetorically insulated them from criticism while simultaneously problematizing the critiques of the anti-animal-experimentation public. Some of the implications for relations between science and the public, especially regarding scientific credibility, are discussed.

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