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A group of zebras is called a zeal. A group of ferrets is a business. As for a group of monkey-brain mutilators? That’s called the Gordon Research Conference for the Neurobiology of Cognition.
A “who’s who” of the primate experimentation industry will converge at the Jordan Hotel at Sunday River in Newry, Maine, on July 24 for a six-day convention on soul-crushing, misery-inducing, and hope-destroying experiments. Here’s just a sampling of the cast of notorious characters who have been invited to speak:
- Elizabeth Buffalo, an experimenter at the University of Washington’s troubled Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC), damages monkeys’ brains to cause memory loss and deprives the animals of food and water so that they’ll watch a computer screen for up to nine consecutive hours in exchange for a few drops of juice. One of those monkeys, an elderly 22-year-old mother named Dorothy, lived in solitary confinement before her frail, diseased body withered and finally collapsed under the pressure of Buffalo’s unrelenting experimentation. Adding insult to injury, Buffalo recently admitted under oath to destroying videos of her experiments—an apparent violation of state laws.
- Michele Basso, the recently appointed director of the WaNPRC, is notorious for being one of the few university experimenters ever to have been suspended from using animals as a result of serious animal welfare violations. Her experiments involve cutting into the tops of monkeys’ skulls, inserting electrodes into their brains, and implanting tiny wire coils in their eyes. She has strapped monkeys into restraint chairs and forced them to stare at a screen all day. Like Buffalo, she has kept monkeys thirsty so that they would cooperate for a sip of water. Her time at the University of Wisconsin was marked by a firestorm of criticism over the number of monkeys in her studies who died, her unwillingness to abide by regulations or adhere to experimental protocols, and her apparent incompetence.
For decades, experimenters like Buffalo and Basso have subjected their victims to a sadistic regimen of painful tests, prolonged imprisonment, and profound deprivation—with nary a cure or treatment for humans to show for it. Yet they continue to peddle their pseudoscientific torture tactics to any crowd who will listen.
If the Jordan Hotel is truly committed to sustainability and conservation, as it claims to be, it should tell the organizers of the Gordon Research Conference to look elsewhere for a venue for its primate painpalooza.
Please take action below and politely urge the hotel to think again about its plans to host this sordid event.