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The American Association for the Advancement of Science has chosen embattled Anatomy Professor Adrian Morrison for its Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, which will be presented to him Sunday in Washington, D.C. The award is given annually to people "whose exemplary actions, often taken at significant personal risk, have served to foster scientific freedom and responsibility." The American Anti-Vivisection Society, another organization that opposes medical research involving surgery on live animals, plans to picket and hand out fliers protesting the choice of Morrison during the AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C., this week. Morrison has been the target of animal activist groups, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, for his controversial research on cats in sleep research. Officials from the AAVS said in a news release that Morrison does not deserve the award because he worked to "squelch" an animal rights course being taught at the University. "There is a conspicuous irony in the decision for the AAAS to honor Adrian Morrison as an advocate for the principle of academic freedom, when he has shown himself willing to suppress it so blantantly," said AAVS Executive Director Bernard Unti. The American Anti-Vivisection Society said that in November 1989, Morrison worked to cancel an animal rights course being taught at the University. Morrison declined to comment on the accusation but said that the AAVS's story is inaccurate. Morrison has no authority to cancel a course being taught at the University. Only the dean of a school can order a class canceled. Many University officials were pleased that Morrison will receive the prestigious award. "I think it is a well-deserved recognition for the stand he has taken for the use of animals in biomedical research," Vice Provost for Research Barry Cooperman said yesterday. Morrison himself said he was proud to receive the award. "I am pleased because it is from the largest scientific organization in the world to my knowledge," Morrison said yesterday. "It makes a statement about the importance of biomedical research and the need for responsible use of animals in research." Morrison has also received three other awards in recent years. He was the recipient of the MERIT award, a National Institues of Mental Health long-term grant for recognition of continued accomplishments.

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