Animal Aid has announced that the overall winner of this years 'Mad Science Awards' is the University of Cardiff.

Today, November 22nd, Animal Aid has presented special diplomas to researchers across the UK involved in "grotesque and pointless" research on animals. The theme for the campaign group's 2006 Mad Science Awards is science's forgotten victims -- rats. For the first time in the history of the awards, the University of Cardiff has received three out of a total of eight Mad Science Awards.

Animal Aid has commented that animal researchers seek to justify the use of rats by presenting them to the public as mere rodents -- life forms undeserving of any special consideration. But to see them as nothing more than laboratory tools betrays a gross lack of sophistication and sensitivity.

Rats are classed as "vermin". However, the truth is very different. Rats are capable of showing great affection for humans and for one another, and that they form highly functional societies where, for example, the strong will help the weak to obtain food. Ultrasonic recordings of rats at play have revealed the emitting of chirps -- inaudible to the human ear -- that are considered to be the equivalent of human laughter. Equally illuminating is the discovery that rats mourn.

full story: 20061123madscienceawards.php

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