• Question: Do you harm animals in your work?

    Asked by willow001 to Damien, Rachael, Simon, Suzi, Tim on 18 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by lidivampire, laurab, livmarshall, georgeteamstarkidweasley.
    • Photo: Suzi Gage

      Suzi Gage answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      No I don’t harm animals in my research. I use data collected on people. The people I am looking at have had data collected on them since before they were born. They have had to give a few blood samples, and saliva samples, and answer some questionnaires, but otherwise they are completely unharmed 🙂

    • Photo: Simon Bennett

      Simon Bennett answered on 13 Jun 2011:


      I don’t harm any animals either, any dissection I do is done once they have been humanely killed. They are cared for very well when they are alive, 24 hours a day and under very strict protocols.


    • Photo: Tim Fosker

      Tim Fosker answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      Hi @willow001

      No I don’t harm animals in my research. I measure children’s brain activity in my research, but don’t worry I don’t harm children either. The equipment I use to measure brain activity is very safe and you can’t feel anything when you are having it done. All the children love seeing their brain activity while they are in the lab.

    • Photo: Damien Hall

      Damien Hall answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      No, no animals were harmed in the making of this research either!

      It seems a pretty safe bet at the moment that language is something that only humans have, if you think of language as a system for communication that enables people to create their own communication and say exactly what they want to say – that is, say sentences. There are some animals that people say have language capabilities – one of the most famous is Koko, a gorilla in San Francisco:


      but scientists disagree about how much these animals have ‘language’. They may have learned a lot of individual words or signs (in sign language), but most people think they are only repeating things that they have heard or seen, and couldn’t put these words or signs together into sentences that they had never heard or seen before. If they could, that would be language, but it hasn’t been proved that they can.