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NASA Engineer Quits Over Monkey Experiment

Written by PETA | June 25, 2010
pazzani / CC by 2.0

Victory Update: Following a year of vigorous campaigning, PETA has learned that government officials have grounded plans for a cruel and ineffective radiation experiment on monkeys. Learn more about this victory for monkeys.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that NASA’s plan to fund an experimenter who wants zap squirrel monkeys with massive amounts of radiation at Brookhaven National Laboratory is cruel and wrongheaded—but it clearly doesn’t disqualify you, either!

Case in point: April Evans, a NASA aerospace engineer working on the International Space Station as a team lead, has quit her job over NASA’s decision to irradiate non-human primates after 30 peaceful years without any space-related experiments on monkeys. Evans, a NASA Space Flight Awareness Honoree, wrote to Brookhaven director Samuel Aronson, explaining, “After much deliberation, I resigned from NASA because I could not support the scientific justification for this monkey radiobiology experiment.” In the letter, Evans also encouraged the agency to develop better space radiation shielding to protect astronauts—instead of tormenting animals.

Evans’ principled stance is in line with that of the European Space Agency, which has rejected the use of cruel and archaic experiments on monkeys—the kind that may violate federal guidelines here in the U.S. If you’d like to thank Evans for her commitment to justice, why not add your voice to the growing number of compassionate people calling for NASA to scrap its plans to torment monkeys?

Written by Jeff Mackey

Commenting is closed.
  • KatMays379 says:

    Hey!  Just a quick post, I called the (202) 586-5000 number to ask if the plans had been cancled (regarding the PETA email sent sometime during 10-19-2010) and was told that a final decision hasn’t been made and they didn’t have a date for when it would be made.  Is there somewhere else we who call this number can post the responses?  Most of the time when a charitable organization asks you to call a number they also ask for you to mention when yo made it and the response, so…?

  • Sally Jay says:

    So there are intelligent and good hearted people who work at NASA after all go April Evans you are wonderful for standing up to those heartless morons and supporting the innocent monkeys.

  • Ingrid Ungerland says:

    Dear April Thank you and great acknowledgment for your courageous step out of an environment that has provided you with financial safety but proven to be ethically well below humane standards. I congratulate you and wish you the best for your personal and professional future.

  • Kathleen Cahill says:

    I commend and applaud April Evans in her stance and as a voice for these animals. What a very courageous thing that she did and for speaking her mind. She is leading by example and following the words of the late great vegetarian! Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Thank you April Evans. You are a true hero. And SHAME ON YOU Nasa Brookhaven. I wouldn’t want to be you when you return in your next life as an animal tortured and abused by the likes of yourselves…

  • Elana says:

    Good for her!

  • christine says:

    What you have done shows courage and humanity. Thank you so much for being an example for all of us!!! Thank you April!

  • April Evans says:

    Thank you sincerely for your kind words. Please do not give up hope on NASA and space exploration. This testing is a very misguided decision made by a small but powerful few that most people at NASA were unaware of at the time. Having said that I have made my decision at NASA and I am not giving up on this cause. I am penniless and sleeping in my younger brother’s guest room but I wouldn’t have it any other way given the circumstances. I hope you all will continue your support for stopping these tests. Thank you very much for your support this far.

  • Lou says:

    Thank you April Evan for helping in the animal rights movement. This is a great contribution very generous considering most people would think of their paycheck more than anything. Kudos and blessings. May you sleep well every night knowing you made the right decision.

  • PETA FAN says:


  • Honour says:

    April Evans is to be commended for her humanity and integrity. I hope she finds a wonderful new job. Best wishes April.

  • Mary Steudtel says:

    As an animal lover and someone who is not in your shoes I totally commend you on your decision. I have not had the chance or the pleasure of doing what you did! I wish I did! I want to make a difference in this world for the animals! You are a Hero in my eyes! Thank you so very much! Mary

  • Nancy Amidzich says:

    The animals thank you Ms. Evans for taking a stance against animal torture.

  • Denise Hanson says:

    Thank God for you April Evans! We need more people like you to stand up against government and anyone else who chooses to torcher and kill innocent animals. I couldn’t be more disgusted with our government!!!

  • Marco Lanza says:

    I have no words for what you have done it’s honorable of your part showing love and etc for the monkeys. I read Nancy Vernand comments where it says “Thank God someone’s willing to stand up for what they believe in no matter the cost.” That’s says all! God Bless you.

  • Katherine Burke says:

    Words cannot express how wonderful and brave I think you are. To stand up for what you believe in and leave your job to protest what is being done to these sweet highly intelligent animals is so commendable. I wish you only the best always.

  • nursah okay says:

    God bless you April thanks for caring so much for animal justice !Such a great heart such a great woman thank you thank you thank you

  • Chelsea says:

    Absolutely awesome thank you Ms. Evans! Your courage and kindness is not going unnoticed!

  • Ginny says:

    Thank God someone’s willing to stand up for what they believe in no matter the cost.

  • Nancy Vernand says:

    As most of yu know I have been working hard being a voice for the baby monkeys being used horribly at NASA and now we get this great proof of what they do. I hope all of you tell all of your friends and any media possible and your governor reps and senators. Thank you so much!

  • NANCY says:

    charky38 Please send this to all of your friends and the media. I am working hard to stop the horrid experiments done on even baby monkeys by NASA. Thanks you will make a difference if you include your governor senators and reps. Please be a voice for the voiceless!

  • maureen says:

    Dear April Evans It was of great satisfaction to hear you are against radiating monkeys and quit your job over it. It is sad that we live in a world that is justified abusing animals.God forbid we lived in a world that would capture human beings and research thembut somewhere in this sick world I believe that happens to. Our government has married diseases to form Germ warfarereleased agent orange in Laoshas let people get their hands on anthrax I could go on and onbut what the point we are now in such a destructive state of mind that we would need much cleansing to stop the toxicity of this world we live in. I still have faith that one day we will wake up to the barbaric practices we inflict upon our chain of life.I hope you will find a better job and peace of mind knowing you did the right thing.No one could have stood up better than to have one of their own stand up against such abuse. Thank you and best of luck to you in you future.

  • dhiraj bisht says:

    Bravo April Evans for taking a stance against murder and ill treatment of animals. I hope more like us who respect the right of life of any and all living creatures find the courage to stand up for what is right and moral and just. Let us not destroy the wrap and woof of the fabric of life on this planet in pursuit of selfish and empty motives.

  • Linda says:

    Good for her! This is nuts and a giant leap backward for NASA to even consider such horrific experiments. NASA should not get any taxpayers’ money when they’re doing such senseless and cruel experiments. Apparently that woman in a diaper a couple years ago was not the only whack job at NASA.

  • Belle says:

    If I ever meet AprilI will give her a big hug!

  • ocean17 says:

    that is so ridiculous these “proposed” experiments are barbaric cruel purposeless and unnecessary. it is well known that overexposure to cosmic radiation in the environment of deep space is not good and poses well defined human health risks. the beat goes on.

  • Shari says:

    She deserve the PETA award for one person makes a diffrence! She quit here job in this bad ecomedymisspelled. I love her. she is a hero!