Jean-Baptiste Descroix-Vernier

Jean-Baptiste Descroix-Vernier


Patron of the Descroix-Vernier Ethicscience Prize

April 2023

In 2023, the Descroix-Vernier Foundation and Pro Anima scientific Committee are joining forces for a common cause : the development of non-animal research by supporting innovative research programs based on the latest scientific knowledge and technologies. Jean-Baptiste Descroix-Vernier is voluntarily very rare in the media. We are delighted to have him for this interview.

Image credit : Dominik Fusina

Pro Anima Committee : The Descroix-Vernier Foundation, whose signature is “Because every life counts”, had to meet Pro Anima, whose Latin root means life, breath, soul. Jean-Baptiste Descroix-Vernier, you have indeed been supporting the Pro Anima Scientific Committee for several years. You are a multi-talented man, philanthropist, businessman and humanist. With your Foundation, you offer shelter to the homeless, bring drinking water to villages in Africa, and participate in the defense and protection of nature and animals. Nevertheless, would you be willing to introduce yourself for our readers ?

J‑B. Descroix-Vernier : I cannot introduce myself and you have already said a lot in these few flattering lines ! However, I can tell you this : one day, a man in good health, having done well in life and very religious, finds himself in a miserable village. Illness, war, extreme poverty are present everywhere in this village. Humans and animals are in agony. Women, children : all are dying. The man is upset, he kneels down and prays very hard, saying to God “Look at this village of misery ! And You, you do nothing for them ? »

Then God answers him “Yes, I made you, YOU. »

Well this guy is me and you are too. If you are reading these lines, you are the Resistance.

 

Pro Anima Committee : It is a real honor for Pro Anima to associate the Descroix-Vernier name with the EthicScience Prize, of which 2023 marked the 10th anniversary. You who are committed to many humanitarian, ecological and animal causes, what were your motivations for supporting non-animal research through Pro Anima and even more so through the Prize ?

Pro Anima is in direct line with Theodore Monod’s philosophy : life must be respected in all its forms. Our modern world offers us more efficient technologies than animal research. Continuing to test on animals when we can directly test on human tissue such as the possibilities offered by 3D bio-printing is scientific nonsense as well as moral shame. What Christiane Laupie does with Pro Anima is essential.

 

Pro Anima Committee : You have endowed the Descroix-Vernier EthicScience Prize with an overall amount of 110,000 euros, which makes it the most important Prize in France for non-animal research, and among the best endowed at European level, how do you continue to give it an important influence ?

J‑B. Descroix-Vernier : The prestige of this award goes far beyond its endowment. It is a mark of honor that rewards the most beautiful thing that a team of researchers can offer humanity after their discoveries : their ethics. Science without ethics is not science but obscurantism. As long as I and the volunteers around me can, we will work together with Pro Anima team to give this prize and the researchers it rewards all the recognition they deserve.

 

Pro Anima Committee : The first edition of the Descroix-Vernier EthicScience Prize was very positive and encouraging. What are your wishes, your projects for the Prize in the next 5 years (and/or 10 years)?

J‑B. Descroix-Vernier : The pressure is on the shoulders of the scientific selection committee chaired by Professor Narbonne. They will have to continue to identify the most effective programs, those that will change the situation in cancerology, for example. From then on, we will be able to reward them and highlight them. The more this prize is known, the more scientists will want to be selected and the more efficient and ethical the research will be.

 

Pro Anima Committee : Finally, what are your hopes for the future of non-animal research ? What are the obstacles that you would have identified for its development and/or that we will have to remove ?

J‑B. Descroix-Vernier : The main obstacles are economic and political. In the short term, it is certainly cheaper to use 300 mice, 50 dogs and 10 monkeys than to invest in infrastructure for printing human tissue, growing tumors on chips, etc. The Law theoretically obliges laboratories to use alternative solutions when they exist, but, for the moment, this law seems only political, without much effect on the ground. Finally, the level of French policies is low in all scientific sectors, from energy to medical research. This is the second obstacle.

 

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Descroix-Vernier Foundation

The mission of the Descroix-Vernier Foundation is multiple: to save lives, as many

possible lives. To this end, the Foundation helps the weakest and the most threatened as a priority.

 

The DV Foundation extends its mission to three fields of action: people,

animals and nature. All projects supported or funded by the Foundation, for almost 20 years, are selected according to a certain number of criteria.

Since its creation in 2002, the DV Foundation has brought drinking water to several hundred thousand people in sub-Saharan Africa, created numerous centers for the homeless in France and elsewhere, and distributed basic necessities.

For the animals, the Foundation helps dozens of shelters in France, finances programs to safeguard threatened areas, veterinary care, etc.

Finally, it is also active in the field of the preservation of wild natural spaces.

The Descroix-Vernier Foundation is solely financed by its founders, who have chosen to share their entire fortune.