[Flash Forward] BODIES: This Is Not A Test

BODIES: This Is Not A Test

28/05/2019 by Rose Eveleth

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=71916284
Episode: https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.megaphone.fm/FLASH4412865800.mp3

Today we travel to a future where all animal testing is banned. What are the alternatives? What can we do without using animals, and what can’t we do?

→ → → Further reading on today’s episode can be found here ← ← ←

Janet D. Stemwedel — professor of philosophy at San Jose State University
Lawrence Carter Long — communications director at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Kristie Sullivan — vice president of research policy at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Deepak Kaushal — director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Hunter Rogers — researcher at Northwestern University on EVATAR project

Maria — Cara Rose de Fabio
Gaby — Eler de Grey
Marquis — Rotimi Agbabiaka (check out his new solo show called Manifesto on June 21 at the African American Arts and Culture Complex as part of the National Queer Arts Festival.)
New Marquis — Xandra Ibarra
John — Keith Houston (also check out his karaoke nights in San Francisco)

Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. Special thanks to Adria Otte and Molly Monihan at the Women’s Audio Mission, where all the intro scenes were recorded this season.

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Listen Date: 2019-06-16


  • After a long time raving to everybody who was interested (admittedly, that’s probably only about three people) about how Flash Forward was the one podcast I listened to that knocked it out of the park week after week, came an episode I couldn’t really get into. What is there.
  • I think what was annoying to me, a little, is that there was no individual nugget of information or knowledge that I found new and wonderful. Instead, there were only two major general themes that I found myself thinking about while listening.
  • The first was a little exasperation at the animals rights guy who said that he was willing to stay disabled as the price of not having animal testing. First of all, it reminded me of the Rogue vs Storm argument (and commentary thereon) from X3. But in general, it seems to me that this sort of activism fails to consider that everybody’s calculus for the suffering they are willing to cause for their personal benefit is different. And furthermore, it sent me into the gloomy reflection that we may be condemned to live in a universe where there are no ways to leave everybody better off. Compare to Vetinari’s quote: “That is when I first learned about evil. It is built into the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain.”
  • On another note, this is the same kind of ethical dilemma which I vaguely noticed in Doctor Who, especially the Tennant era, when the Doctor manages to remain pure thanks to other people deciding to murder / murder-suicide / genocide to save the world.
  • On a less philosophical and more troll-note, the whole “If we have to move to testing on humans, then it will probably be the most disadvantaged humans who becomes the test subjects” mostly left me thinking “Well, bring back white slavery, we will finally find something useful to do with the Irish and Appalachian coal miners.”
  • I only just realised – the organ-on-a-chip research will probably have spinoffs in lab meat as well.


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