Bruce Friedrich, Director of Vegan Outreach at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, spoke to a full house in Bausch & Lomb Hall last night, telling the audience he was far from objective. “I bring a lot of bias to the table. But also keep in mind that the meat, dairy and egg industries bring a lot of bias to the table as well,” Friedrich said. He was the keynote speaker of a program headed by graduate students discussing whether science was subjective or objective. The students were presenting the program as part of a graduate class taught by Professor April Luehmann.”Friedrich’s talk offers all of us the opportunity to critically explore how scientific knowledge is constructed and communicated,” Luehmann said. “Too often when science is studied the controversy surrounding its growth and development is absent from the conversation.”Science is not the objective and sterile endeavor that we often believe. Science is biased, and in order to promote a scientifically literate society, consumers of this knowledge need to be encouraged to challenge this bias.” Bruce Friedrich has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, numerous CNN programs, MSNBC, Fox News, and the BBC. While at PETA, he has successful led campaigns against such well-known industries as KFC. He was recently voted the fifth most influential man under 38 by Details Magazine.In Friedrich’s speech, titled “Science as a Political Enterprise: Examining the Meat and Dairy Debate,” he looked at ways in which industries have manipulated science to promote their individual agendas. “The tobacco industry has paid 12 scientists $156,000 to write sympathetic letters to scientific journals,” Friedrich said. “The letters which the scientists sent were written by lawyers of the tobacco industry.”Friedrich also discussed veganism and vegetarianism during his speech. “There are many environmental benefits to being vegetarian. It takes six to seven calories of grain into an animal to get one edible calorie out…a true environmentalist cannot eat meat, dairy or eggs,” Friedrich said. “The best thing an environmentalist can do is adopt a vegan diet. It requires 14 times as much water to feed a meat eater as it does to feed a vegan, and 25 times as much land.”Director of Communications at UR Medical Center Chris Difrancesco noted that URMC and River Campus faculty members have sent e-mails to Warner questioning the decision to bring Friedrich to speak.Dean Borasi of the Warner school was not available for comment.”There were a number of conversataions regarding the purpose of [Friedrich’s] talk.” Aimee Lewis, Development Associate at the Warner School, said.Security was present outside the room in which Friedrich spoke. “He is a higher profile speaker,” Assistant Director of Security Ed Scheidel said of their presence.Additional reporting by Ryan Merkley.Farrell can be reached at

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