Table of Contents
Adrian Smith and Penny Hawkins article titled, “Good Science, Good Sense and Good Sensibilities: The Three Ss of Carol Newton” covers the controversial topic of animal use in laboratory research and the constant battle to reduce their use as much as possible (Smith & Hawkins, 2016). The authors focused on William M.S. Russell and Rex L. Burch’s principle of three Rs: Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement, as well as Carol Newton’s principle of three Ss: Good Science, Good Sense, and Good Sensibilities. The goal of the article is to improve animal welfare by bringing attention to the Three Ss, which are used synchronously with the Three Rs (Smith & Hawkins, 2016). The article’s argument for the limitation and reduction of animal usage in laboratories was conveyed effectively due to its use of Ethos by including numerous credible sources, its Logos due to backable facts, and its inherent use of Pathos by touching on an emotional topic in a professional, yet heart-grabbing manner.
The Ethos of Authors
The first author of this article, Adrian Smith, has both extensive educational and professional backgrounds. His Ethos lies within a page on Norecopa’s website (the company Smith currently works for). The page was recently updated in 2020, and it explained that he earned his Master of Arts and Veterinary Degree from Cambridge University, England in 1979, which prompted him to run his own private veterinary clinic in England from 1979-1980. He was a research assistant at Dal Research Farm for Furbearing Animals, Heggedal from 1981-1985, and then became an assistant professor at the Research Farms/Laboratory Animal Unit at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science in 1985 (“Adrian smith”, 2020).
Eventually he was promoted to a professor in the same unit in 1988 after earning his doctoral degree and became the head of the unit in 1991, according to the Norecopa page. He went on to become a diplomat in laboratory animal science at the European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine in 2003, and since 2007 has been the Secretary for Norecopa, Norway’s Three R Center and National Consensus Platform for the Replacement and Refinement of animal experiments (“Adrian smith”, 2020).
The other author of “Good Science, Good Sense and Good Sensibilities: The Three Ss of Carol Newton”, Penny Hawkins, works at the Research Animals Department of the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Science Group according to a page about her on the ResearchGate science website, and focuses her work on studying the current laboratory practices using animals and finding better, more ethical practices that will limit their use and improve their quality of life (“Penny hawkins”, 2019). Hawkins has a very strong Ethos, similarly to Smith. She studied Biological Sciences at the University of Birmingham from 1992-1996 and at the University of Portsmouth from 1989-1992 (“Penny hawkins”, 2019).
The ResearchGate page listed her range of skills and expertise among a multitude of animal related topics, including animal care, animal welfare, animal science, ethical review, animals, animal research, animal models, and laboratory animal science. She served as the head of the Research Animals Department of RSPCA from 1996-2015 and has worked on over one hundred research projects (“Penny hawkins”, 2019).
The Ethos of Sources
Both Smith and Hawkins have had decades of experience in the field of animal research, and in their article together they never fell short of credible resources to back their claims. As stated previously, these authors are the epitome of an effective Ethos appeal. Of the twenty-six sources listed in the article, many of them were educational websites, peer reviewed academic journals, or verified medical websites. The sources were easy to access, and it was clear throughout the text that most of the information used in the argument came from researchers in the field of animal testing or animal welfare.
According to Smith and Hawkins (2016), two of the accredited contributors to their article were Canadian veterinary pathologist Harry C. Rowsell and former Chair or the Department of Biomathematics at the University of California Carol Newton. Having these two experts’ knowledge within the article added much to the efficacy of the argument by showcasing many credible facts and opinions instead of unchecked facts and untested opinions like many other articles present.
The Undeniable Presence of Pathos
The article elicited a particularly effective emotional response by using Pathos particularly in the “Good Sensibilities” portion, because the entire section focused on empathy for animals. The text stated that having empathy for the animals used in laboratories is mandatory in order to limit their suffrage and make their “[lives] worth living” (Smith & Hawkins, 2016). Here, the reduction of suffering and the importance of giving the animals lives worth living stand out to the audience because they prompt readers to think about the health conditions of the laboratory animals and their right to live happier lives.
Another effective use of emotional appeal was also in the same section as the previous idea, “Assuming that interventions that would cause pain or distress to humans may also cause animals to suffer” (Smith & Hawkins, 2016). It refers to the realization that animals feel pain in the same ways that humans do and the amount they suffer due to research testing should be taken into consideration along with their biological makeup and natural demeanor when considering testing methods (Smith & Hawkins, 2016).
The topic of “contingent suffering”, any form of suffering not caused by actual laboratory testing, was also explained and used in the article as an appeal of pathos (Smith & Hawkins, 2016). The following are all factors that fall into contingent suffering: transport stress, inappropriate husbandry, concurrent disease, and undesirable social interactions (Smith & Hawkins, 2016). According to Smith and Hawkins (2016), contingent suffering could actually be much more harmful for the animals than the actual laboratory tests, and it could easily throw off lab results as well. The idea of contingent suffering is not only a great example of Pathos, but it is also an exemplar of Logos because it presents multiple forms of evidence against the reliability of animals who have suffered contingently.
The Use of Logos/Evidence
There were many Logos appeals in Smith and Hawkins’ article, including a passage on some of the factors that may throw test results off. The passage stated that because humans’ and animals’ metabolic rates can be incredibly different, the dosage given to a test animal must be calculated to emulate the same effect as it would on a human, but this doesn’t always happen. Another issue explained in the same passage is the fact that the drugs administered to test animals are not injected in the same way as they would be in a clinical trial (Smith & Hawkins, 2016).
Injecting drugs through inappropriate vessels can easily throw results off, just like smoking a cigarette and eating one will have different effects. The fact alone that animals are not genetically similar to humans in many ways is a strong argument by itself. Smith and Hawkins (2016) provided a very valid and effective point when considering the differences all around between testing a product on an animal and a human being, especially since many of the testing factors are extremely different between the two.
Another effective Logos appeal used in the article was based on the fact that many researchers are not even being taught about the behavior and needs of the animals being tested on in laboratories (Smith & Hawkins, 2016). If the researchers do not know the animal’s needs/behaviors, how should they be expected to know how much of a drug or in what state should they administer it to the animal? This question is something that helped Smith and Hawkins (2016) push their point about the prominent existence of false test results even further, and it made for an even stronger argument against animal testing.
A Truly Effective Argument
Smith and Hawkins (2016) were able to access and use information from a variety of sources in order to create this article, most of which were academically sourced. Their credentials, studies in the field of animal research, and experience qualify them to both be very well respected and understood by their audience, which in turn gives them extensive Ethos of Author. Their use of Ethos of Source by including numerous credible sources, Logos due to the use of backable facts, and inherent use of Pathos by touching on an emotional topic in a professional, yet heart-grabbing manner led “Good Science, Good Sense and Good Sensibilities: The Three Ss of Carol Newton” to convey a quite effective overall argument for the improvement of animal welfare and journey to better science.