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Celebrating openness about animal research

EARA's fourth edition of
Be Open About Animal Research Day 
(#BOARD24) took place on
Friday, 3 May 2024. 

#BOARD24 is a global, 24-hour social media
campaign that celebrates openness
by biomedical institutions in
communicating animal research.

What happened for #BOARD24?

The fourth edition of Be Open About Animal Research Day (#BOARD24), EARA’s global, 24-hour social media campaign, that celebrates examples of openness in animal research with the public, took place during the last day (3 May) of the Understanding Animal Research Openness in animal research conference at the University of Warwick, UK. And once again more than 1,000 biomedical institutions participated. 

  • The fourth edition of #BOARD24 had a record 220 partner institutions pledging their support from 48 countries across six continents (Europe, North America, South America, Oceania, Asia and Africa).

  • 94 institutions produced materials for the campaign, which included statements, videos, events, infographics, articles and case studies.

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Here are some of the highlights from #BOARD24:


Institutions from around the world held events highlighting different topics on animal research and openness, including an online lecture on dignity in animal experimentation at EARA member the University of Antwerp, Belgium; a talk on animal enrichment for animals in captivity at Trent University, Canada; and a workshop inviting attendees to witness behavioural studies in rats at Sea4Us, Portugal. 

Several EARA members created videos for the campaign. Staff at the Netherlands Cancer Institute shared their thoughts on the mice used in cancer research, through written notes, while in Spain, researchers at the Complutense University of Madrid explained the need for animal research, as well as the 3Rs and optimal animal welfare. Members of the Spanish Society for Laboratory Animal Sciences (SECAL), as well as the Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB), also spoke about why it is important to be open with the public and the relevance of #BOARD24, in several Q&As. 

Meanwhile, a video by the University of Caen Normandy, France, demonstrated how to play a board game – based on the popular game Trivial Pursuit, and created by the regional ethical body of Normandy – that addresses public misconceptions and questions about animal research. In the UK, the Francis Crick Institute produced a video on its zebrafish research on heart development, and Ellie Muscat, then at the University of Liverpool, shared her video explaining the journey of animal research and the 3Rs in the UK. 

Other activities
On the first day of the UAR openness conference, EARA held a workshop about #BOARD24 and using social media to communicate animal research. Participants got the opportunity to create their own statements for the campaign, on the importance of open communication on animal research.

Also at the conference, on the day of #BOARD24, EARA staff and ambassadors, and members of the EARA Board, spoke at a session on the progress and success of Transparency Agreements in Europe, including those in Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, which EARA helped co-ordinate. 

The 2023 annual report of the Dutch Transparency Agreement was also published on the day, and showed that signatory institutions had demonstrated an increasing number of ways to communicate animal research with the public. 

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Check out all the #BOARD24 initiatives from across the world:
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