Publication Details

Degeling, C. & Johnson, J. (2009). Underdetermined Interests: Scientific 'Goods' and Animal Welfare. The American Journal of Bioethics, 9 (12), 64-66.


It is well known that the culture within which actors such as scientists and clinicians operate is structured by the mechanisms through which institutional rewards are distributed (Garfield 1979). In the biosciences, citation counts are the accepted markers of a researcher's originality and competence that permit access to funding, promotion and other forms of institutional support. Osborne and colleagues' (2009) study suggests that beneath this publication-driven reward system is a widespread indifference on the part of journals to the ethical/welfare issues that surround the use of animals for the purposes of science. Although the promotion of animal welfare is not necessarily a goal of the vast majority of scientific research, it is arguable that those who distribute the institutional rewards should also be accountable for the harms that occur during efforts directed at their attainment.



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