Test Subjects Reveals Subtle Pressure on Graduate Students to Experiment on Animals to Earn Advanced Degrees
For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2019
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Philadelphia – Animal testing is “something that you just know is wrong when you’re doing it,” says Drexel University College of Medicine graduate Dr. Amy Clippinger, director of PETA’s Regulatory Testing Department and a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology and genetics. But as she shares in Test Subjects—the new documentary from British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award–winning director Alex Lockwood—graduate schools foster a misguided reliance on animal testing.
This grooming of students to perpetuate animal experimentation is explored in Test Subjects, which will have a limited 72-hour public debut at TestSubjectsFilm.com, beginning at midnight on December 6. The trailer is available here.
The 16-minute documentary profiles three scientists whose lives were altered when they accepted the status quo and experimented on animals to earn their diplomas. Each had started out hoping to improve human health, but they soon realized that they were being asked to buy into an archaic system that was impeding good science.
“We’re talking about human health … so we want cells that come from humans,” says Clippinger. “We don’t want to know what happens in a rat. We know we can cure cancer in rats—well, it doesn’t translate to humans.”
That’s why Clippinger now helps researchers make the switch to modern, human-relevant research methods. “It’s a great feeling to be able to reduce animal testing, replace animal testing, and also protect human health and the environment,” she says. “This is exactly why I got into science—it’s a win-win, because I can save animals and do good science. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Lockwood won the 2019 Best Short Film award from BAFTA for 73 Cows. Test Subjects made its global debut in September at Raindance, the U.K.’s largest film festival.
Clippinger is available for interviews.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—executive-produced the film and opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org.