Dear UC President Mark Yudof,
I’m writing in response to Jessica Mullen’s article (“New Law Shields UC Scientists” Daily Nexus, Oct. 1, 2008.)
Sir, quite frankly, the response to this problem from the legislative standpoint is ridiculous. There have been two firebombing incidents, vandalism, and threatening emails. Let’s see, firebombing is illegal last time I checked, vandalism on public property carries a $380 fine (if not a felony charge) and courts have upheld that e-mail threats constitute verbal assault. So why on earth do we need new, narrowly tailored laws (that don’t apply to professors, mind you,) to clog up our legislature and achieve nothing? The new law specifically forbids entering a researcher’s home with the intent of committing a crime… uhhm… trespassing anyone?
And, Mr. President, do you honestly think that “using BOTOX to paralyze primate’s eyes and gluing metal coils to their corneas” really constitutes “ground breaking research” and will lead to “technological breakthroughs that [will enhance] the lives of Californians and all Americans?” What if the primates dropped you a few Vicodins and returned the favor in the name of research? What makes you think we can manipulate the natural processes of living beings on earth just because we possess the skills to? It’s entirely necessary to protect our scientists and researchers at the University of California, but let’s investigate who planted the firebombs rather than passing a new law for political purposes that achieves nothing. This law was signed under the guise of prohibiting violence, but all it really does is limit our knowledge of where public funds for research are going.