Governor signs researcher protection bill
Measure inspired by firebombings, other attacks on UC Santa Cruz scientists
By J.M. BROWN - Sentinel Staff Writer
Article Launched: 09/29/2008 05:28:38 PM PDT
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed into law a bill designed to protect academic researchers from harassment and violence - a measure inspired by firebombings and other incidents at the homes of UC Santa Cruz scientists who conduct experiments on animals.
In a statement released Monday, Chancellor George R. Blumenthal thanked the governor and lawmakers who pushed the Researcher Protection Act through as an urgent bill, meaning it became law when Schwarzenegger signed it Sunday.
"UC Santa Cruz scientists are confronting many of society's most vexing medical challenges, including cancer, neurological conditions and infection disease," Blumenthal said. "This work is vitally important, and our researchers and their families must be protected from acts of intimidation and violence."
The university has asked scientists targeted by animal rights activists not to make public comments, but two legislators who struggled early on to convince colleagues about the bill's urgency said the August firebombings got the attention of legislators in a way that previous incidents had not. Read More
After the terrorist attacks on medical researchers this summer in California, the state has responded by making it unlawful to distribute personal information with the intent to harm them. Although the radical animal rights activists seem to have no respect for society or it’s laws, at least the state has put them on notice that they are going to do what they can to prevent or punish this type of activity.