Understanding animal stress is important for many reasons. If we know how the animal brain responds to change it helps us understand habitat destruction and climate effects on population dynamics, and can provide important information about human impacts, adaptation, and animal conservation. Understanding the animal neurological and physiological response to stress in models translates well to other animals, including humans. This week’s podcast is a discussion with Dr. Christine Lattin, a postdoctoral researcher in the Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Center at Yale University. Dr. Lattin examines stress responses in house sparrows using live imaging so that birds can be studied over and over through time.
However, Dr. Lattin has become a target of activists that have engaged malicious, personal attacks against her and her research. The harassment has intensified into very personal acts of defamation and intimidation for this early career scientist. We discuss the extreme measures she takes to ethically conduct her research and how her own personal reconciliation of how animals are important to research. We then discuss what it is like to be the subject of an activist defamation campaign and personal attacks, and how to not just survive it- how to turn it into something positive.
The discussion is powerful and emotional, and hopefully will stir further awareness of how scientists are attacked because of their research.
Dr. Christine Lattin’s Twitter: @C_lattin
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PETA wages a vicious attack on Dr. Christine Lattin.