Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« The Dismal Science of Drug Prices | Main | More on Drug Prices »

July 21, 2002

You'll Only Get Answers

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

I mentioned the other day that I've usually had a good response when I tell people about what I do for a living. There are exceptions, though. A few years ago, my wife and I were walking through a shopping mall, when we were stopped by two scruffy teenage survey takers.

"Would you like to take a - "
"No."
" - survey about animal rights?"
That put a new light on things. "Actually, yes. . ."

So we split up, and started in on the questions. Was I familiar with the idea of animal testing? Yes indeed. Did I realize that the medicines I took had been tested on animals? I most certainly did. Was I in favor of this? Damn right I was.

That broke his stride a little bit, but he recovered. What would be my opinion of some medical product if I found out that it had been tested on animals? More favorable. Now my surveyor was bogging down, and he stopped to stare at me. "Well," I said, "I work in the pharmaceutical industry. I'm actually very happy when something I've made gets tested on animals, because that means it's something that might actually work."

I could see him briefly trying, and failing, to integrate that into his worldview. What, um, would my attitude be, er, about this list of products made by companies that had sworn to do no animal testing? My wife and her surveyor had reached this question, by a similar route, and I could hear her starting in on him: "I'm supposed to feel good because they're using stuff that's right out of the National Formulary? Because all the animal testing was done years ago by someone else, these people are more righteous?"

One of my wife's jobs, before we met, was in the lab at a cosmetics company, as fate would have it. Both of the teenagers stared at us, as if we'd pulled off latex masks and reveled ourselves as green-skinned aliens. "Any more questions?" A shaking of heads. We handed them back their lists of the elect and went on our way.

I'd like to think we left them, like Coleridge's wedding guest, sadder and wiser, but I'm sure we didn't. I think we left them wondering if they could just chuck our answers completely, since we were obviously pulling their legs. I mean, what other explanation was there?<

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Animal Testing


COMMENTS

EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
How Not to Do It: NMR Magnets
Allergan Escapes Valeant
Vytorin Actually Works
Fatalities at DuPont
The New York TImes on Drug Discovery
How Are Things at Princeton?
Phage-Derived Catalysts
Our Most Snorted-At Papers This Month. . .