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Experimenting with Humans and Animals

From Aristotle to CRISPR

Anita Guerrini

second edition
Publication Date
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Examining the ideas and attitudes that encourage scientists to experiment on living creatures, what their justifications are, and how these have changed over time.

Experimentation on animals—particularly humans—is often assumed to be a uniquely modern phenomenon. But the ideas and attitudes that encourage biological and medical scientists to experiment on living creatures date from the earliest expressions of Western thought. In Experimenting with Humans and Animals, Anita Guerrini looks at the history of these practices and examines the philosophical and ethical arguments that justified them.

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Examining the ideas and attitudes that encourage scientists to experiment on living creatures, what their justifications are, and how these have changed over time.

Experimentation on animals—particularly humans—is often assumed to be a uniquely modern phenomenon. But the ideas and attitudes that encourage biological and medical scientists to experiment on living creatures date from the earliest expressions of Western thought. In Experimenting with Humans and Animals, Anita Guerrini looks at the history of these practices and examines the philosophical and ethical arguments that justified them.

Guerrini discusses key historical episodes in the use of living beings in science and medicine, including the discovery of blood circulation, the development of smallpox and polio vaccines, and recent research in genetics, ecology, and animal behavior. She also explores the rise of the antivivisection movement in Victorian England, the modern animal rights movement, and current debates over gene therapy and genetically engineered animals. We learn how perceptions and understandings of human and animal pain have changed; how ideas of class, race, and gender have defined the human research subject; and that the ethical values of science seldom stray far from the society in which scientists live and work.

Thoroughly rewritten and updated, with new material in every chapter, the book emphasizes a broader understanding of experimentation and adds material on gene therapy, self-experimentation, and prisoners and slaves as experimental subjects. A new chapter brings the story up to the present while reflecting on the current regulatory scene, new developments in science, and emerging genomics. Experimenting with Humans and Animals offers readers a context within which to understand more fully the responsibility we all bear for the suffering inflicted on other living beings in the name of scientific knowledge.

Reviews

Reviews

I was impressed by Guerrini's vast knowledge of the historical development of biomedical science, including the events that matter to ethical issues around use of animal and human subjects in research.

...a valuable, insightful, and useful book, covering a vast time span and a weighty theme.

Unique, succinct, and informative... It is rare to mix the stories of animal and human research together, and this joint history has been little understood and appreciated among even modern day discussants... The history is well drawn and accurate. Inserts illustrating important historical documents provide a feel of the times and thinking under discussion. The mixture of history and ethics makes this appropriate both for mentors and young Martin Arrowsmiths.

Within its confines, the author presented a balanced review of historical highlights (perhaps also lowlifes depending on perspective) surrounding animal and human vivisection and use in research... This was a great read and I recommend it to all.

A compelling and engaging account of the ways experiments have been conducted on animals and humans from the time of Galen to the present. [Guerrini's] book is crucial not only for understanding the changing value placed on experiments over time but also because it deepens our knowledge of the history of medicine.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
216
ISBN
9781421444055
Illustration Description
29 b&w photos
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. Bodies of Evidence: Experimentation and Philosophical Debate in Premodern Europe
Chapter 2. Animals, Machines, and Morals
Chapter 3. Disrupting God's Plan
Chapter 4

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. Bodies of Evidence: Experimentation and Philosophical Debate in Premodern Europe
Chapter 2. Animals, Machines, and Morals
Chapter 3. Disrupting God's Plan
Chapter 4. Cruelty and Kindness
Chapter 5. The Microbe Hunters
Chapter 6. Polio and Primates
Chapter 7. From Nuremberg to CRISPR: New Rules and New Sciences
Conclusion
Suggested Further Reading
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Anita Guerrini
Featured Contributor

Anita Guerrini, Ph.D.

Anita Guerrini (VENTURA, CA) is the Horning Professor in the Humanities Emerita at Oregon State University and a research professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of The Courtiers' Anatomists: Animals and Humans in Louis XIV's Paris.