The insurgent

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Science  23 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6220, pp. 366-369
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6220.366

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From a small wooden desk in a row home a few miles north of the U.S. Capitol, Justin Goodman is waging war against animal research as director of laboratory investigations at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Whereas other activists stick to protests and publicity stunts, he and his team have spent the past 5 years challenging scientists on their own turf. In talks and papers published in the peer-reviewed literature, they marshal data in an attempt to show researchers that animal experimentation is flawed, cruel, and just plain worthless. Goodman's papers have questioned the validity of the university committees that oversee animal research, encouraged U.S. allies to explore alternatives to animals in military medical training, and wounded the reputation of the world's largest accreditor of lab animal welfare. But many scientists are unswayed, saying that the work is methodologically flawed and deeply misleading. They say that despite the veneer of science, Goodman's studies are anything but.