IBRO expresses our global support of Professor Nikos K. Logothetis, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (MPI-BC, Tübingen, Germany), in his ability and freedom to conduct responsible research on animals, especially non-human primates and rodents. We believe that Professor Logothetis, a leading neuroscientist of internationally respected standing and reputation, has used animal models responsibly and in accordance with IBRO’s Global Statement on the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research (1).

To find and refine cures and treatments for human neurological and psychiatric diseases, animal models are essential for scientific progress. We also recognize that responsible research is the foundation of this progress and should be pursued within approved laws and regulations that establish robust frameworks of experimental protocol and ethical conduct. According to investigations carried out by animal protection authorities, no serious violations of animal care rules were found in the research of Professor Logothetis (2). He and his colleagues have shown transparency and compliance with national and institutional regulations and their work should be defended by the international scientific community.

The actions so far taken against Professor Logothetis do not only affect his work and that of the MPI-BC. They also impact the global neuroscience research community as a whole and reduce its ability to improve human and non-human animal welfare through medical advancements and scientific discoveries. Along with other concerned scientists and scientific organizations (3), we stand together in full support of Professor Logothetis and urge the Max Planck Society to reinstate and defend his ability to conduct, manage and supervise research with animals in a safe environment where constructive discussion and dialogue between stakeholders can be fostered.

We also encourage scientists to sign the “Open Letter Regarding the Max Planck Society’s Actions Against MPI-BC Director Prof. Logothetis” published by Speaking of Research.

IBRO Officers                                    IBRO Regional Committee Chairs

Pierre Magistretti                                Pierre Luabeya                          Cecilia Bouzat
President                                            Africa                                          Latin America

Keiji Tanaka                                         Bong-Kiun Kaang                      Samuel David
Secretary General                              Asia/Pacific                               US/Canada

Hans-Joachim Pflüger                         Robert Gabriel
Treasurer                                            Europe


(1) IBRO Global Statement on the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research (6 December 2012)

(2) Statement by the Animal Protection Officers of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (27 November 2014), Embattled Max Planck neuroscientist quits primate research (Science, 4 May 2015), Max Planck scientists criticize handling of animal-rights charges against leading neuroscientist (Nature News, 30 May 2018)

(3) Open Letter Regarding the Max Planck Society’s Actions Against MPI-BC Director Prof. Logothetis (Speaking of Research, 25 July 2018), Letter to MPS President Dr. Martin Stratmann (Supporting Truth about Animal Research (STAR) Coalition, 1 August 2018), FENS and SfN Statement in strong support of Prof. Logothetis (3 August 2018)

Related Links:

Interview with MPG President Martin StratmannConfidence in us must never be called into question (Deutsche Universitätszeitung (duz), 1 August 2018)

Max Planck Society’s actions raise serious concerns about leadership and the future of German neuroscience (Speaking of Research, 7 June 2018) • In wake of attacks, German science bodies fend for animal research (Science, 6 September 2016)

MPI-Research: Buav-Soko Claims & Reality (Nikos K. Logothetis, 28 November 2014)

TV broadcast of Buav-Soko footage (in German, September 2014)

DOWNLOAD the full statement here.