Capitol Hill briefing Barbara King takes the podium at a Jan. 27 briefing
session in the Cannon House Office Building. King was part of a panel to raise
awareness of federally funded experiments on monkeys. Courtesy photo
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by Joseph McClain | February 4, 2015
Barbara J. King spoke at a recent Capitol Hill briefing, part of a panel seeking
an ethics-based review of ongoing psychological research at a National
Institutes of Health laboratory that uses monkeys in experiments.
King, the Chancellor Professor of Anthropology at William & Mary, contends that
the federally funded experiments, which include subjecting the monkeys to
stresses including forced maternal separation when the infants are 12 hours to
three days old, are needlessly cruel and are unnecessary in light of modern
scientific techniques. The event, "Beyond Monkeys for Better Science," was
hosted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. King was one of three
scientists to speak, along with actor/activist James Cromwell and U.S. Rep.
Roybal-Allard of California, the honorary host of the event.
King has written about the activities in the lab in her
postings at NPR's 13.7, Cosmos and Culture blog. The NIH has issued a
in support of the primate lab's activities and its review process.
The event gathered a crowd of 40 to 45, mainly congressional staffers who took
notes from which they will brief their members of Congress. King said 30
legislative offices were represented at the briefing.
"Each of we three scientists spoke for 12 minutes, so we each had a fairly
substantive presentation," she said.
King explained that the goal of "Beyond Monkeys" was to attract more support on
the Hill for a bioethical review of the NIH primate lab. Cromwell's presentation
included screening video footage obtained from the NIH lab by PETA. A question
and answer session followed the presentations.