Tag Archives: biology

While everyone bashes …

By Rosalie Tirella

… UMASS for being a nonprofit that has the temerity to buy property adjacent to property it sits on, property that it intends to develop for cutting edge life sci research, a move that will enable it to keep Worcester in the bio tech loop (why lose everything to Cambridge/Boston?), property that will stay on the city tax rolls if leased to for-profit bio tech companies … we say: Why are you slamming UMASS?


Stop railing against UMASS! Stop bashing UMASS when, for all these years, it has given the city a very classy glow. A boost to our sometimes dowdy blue collar reputation. Some sparkly tall buildings that draw thousands of people a day, that hum with human activity, provide good paying jobs to thousands of local folks, provide first-rate health care to thousands of sick/dying people. UMASS makes us a city that can attract and keep very smart academic types, some of whom have won Nobel Prizes for their scientific research, we all should remember. UMASS is a great state university/research system, from its flagship university at Amherst, to UMass Lowell, to our UMass hospital/medical center, to the Great Brook Valley Health Center and the Family Health Center, Community Health Link, to the hospital’s staffing of the Ronald McDonald health care mobile and all the other free or low-cost medical services provided to struggling families in the Worcester area, to all the other great things our state university system does for Massachusetts. This state, unlike California or Michigan, does not know how to respect and support its state university system. Call us elitist Mass.

In Worcester’s case call us plain old cheap.

Why is everyone slagging a great local institution?

Cruelty in the classroom

By Justin Goodman

Now that kids are back in school, parents everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief. The frantic search for school supplies is over, and most kids are settling in to their new routines. But don’t relax just yet, Mom and Dad: You still have some homework to do. Your assignment: Find out if cruelty is on the curriculum.

If animal dissections are included in this year’s lesson plan, the answer is “Yes.”

As early as middle school, most students are forced by their teachers to cut up intact frogs, fetal pigs and other animals. Only 15 states have passed laws or resolutions that allow students to opt out of animal dissections. But even in states where such laws exist, students who choose not to dissect can be ostracized or ridiculed by their peers and teachers. A New Jersey eighth-grader who opted out of dissection had the remains of a dead frog placed in her purse by her teacher and was ordered to carry a dead animal across campus. Continue reading Cruelty in the classroom