Openness on Animal Research

by Monica Hoyos Flight (Communications Manager, Roslin Institute)

On the 23rd of February 2016, The University of Edinburgh published new webpages on Animal Research that explain why and how animals are used in medical and veterinary research.

See www.ed.ac.uk/research/animal-research

These pages were highly commended by the organisation “Speaking for Research” which have reviewed the animal research pages and statements of over 200 institutions worldwide. In their recent article, they highlighted The University of Edinburgh’s pages as meeting the highest standards, scoring 4/4 ­  —  a standard achieved by only 10 other organisations.

The University of Edinburgh signed the UK’s Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in 2014 and bioscience researchers across the University are working together to meet the aims of the openness agenda, which include:

  • Being clear about when, how and why they use animals in research
  • Improving communications with the media and the public about research using animals
  • Proactively engaging with the public and providing opportunities for the public to find out about research using animals

Recent examples of public engagement activities undertaken by University of Edinburgh researchers that further support our openness on animal research aims include: The Easter Bush Campus Open Day at which researchers provide accurate descriptions of the benefits and limitations of research using animals, and  ‘Science Insights’, a work experience programme for high school students that includes lab shadowing sessions, tours of animal facilities and an ethics session on the use of animals in research.