University of New Mexico Professor Featured in Bill Maher’s New Documentary Series Exposing Dark Side of Science


For Immediate Release:
January 9, 2024

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Albuquerque, N.M. – A University of New Mexico emeritus professor of psychology and former animal experimenter, John Gluck, Ph.D., is among the scientists featured in the new docuseries The Failed Experiment. In this series, for which Bill Maher served as executive producer, Gluck, a trained primatologist and the author of Voracious Science and Vulnerable Animals: A Primate Scientist’s Ethical Journey, speaks candidly about his time experimenting on monkeys, the deep connections he formed with them, and his journey to accepting that what he was doing to them was wrong. The series is now streaming. Available on Prime Video.

“My job was to administer drugs to monkeys and then test them in learning experiments,” Gluck says in the series. “There were so many incidences where what we were doing to an animal gave me pause, and/or embarrassed me, or frightened me, or left me feeling guilty. It got me thinking about, ‘Who are these beings?’ ‘What do we owe them?’”

The Failed Experiment pulls back the curtain on the multibillion-dollar animal experimentation industry in the U.S. and explores why there are so few cures and effective treatments for the deadliest diseases—including Alzheimer’s, many forms of cancer, Parkinson’s, and ALS—and provides much-needed solutions for modernizing the world of research.

Each of the six brief but riveting episodes reveals how the country’s heavy reliance on archaic experiments on animals is causing the U.S. to lose its place as the world leader in research and technological advances. Featuring interviews with scientists, experts from PETA, and a Harvard University physician, the series breaks down the wastefulness of the National Institutes of Health’s $45 billion annual budget—taxpayer money that’s used to treat animals in laboratories like pincushions and test tubes while humans die without cures for illnesses, even though modern, human-relevant, animal-free testing methods are readily available. It shines a spotlight on the failures of animal experimentation and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of animals in laboratories.

“We’ve all lost loved ones to diseases, but did you ever wonder why there are so few cures?” asks Maher. “The Failed Experiment dismantles America’s archaic research program and exposes the bias that is preventing progress.”

monkey with needle shadow over his face next to text "From Executive Producer Bill Maher. The Failed Experiment"

Credit: PETA

Every year, 110 million animals die in U.S. laboratories, but studies show that 95% of all new medications that test safe and effective in animals later fail in human clinical trials. PETA scientists’ Research Modernization Deal provides a comprehensive strategy for replacing such experiments with superior methods.

Among the other experts interviewed are Mitchell Klausner, previous president of MatTek Corporation, a global leader in supplying animal-free testing models that use real human tissue; John Pawlowski, M.D., codirector of the Shapiro Simulation and Skills Center at the Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose groundbreaking research on non-animal simulators aims to shift the global paradigm away from using animals in biomedical education; Rolf Kleiner, former president of InVitro International, which developed the first non-animal test to be accepted by the government,; and Rich Ulmer, the current president and CEO of InVitro International.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.





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