Celebrating openness about animal research
Biomedical institutions from around the world shared their stories and experiences of being open with the public during the second edition of Be Open About Animal Research Day (#BOARD22) on 16 June, 2022.
EARA co-ordinated the 24-hour global campaign supported by the wider biomedical community, from both public and private research, across the continents of the world.
What happened at #BOARD22?
#BOARD22 was co-ordinated by EARA during the 15th Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations (Felasa) Congress, in Marseille, France.
The global, 24-hour social media campaign celebratedopenness by biomedical institutions, from both public and private research, in
communicating about animal research.
The main theme of the congress was 'communication' and as well as the day-long campaign of case studies, videos and messages of support from institutions and researchers from across the world EARA provided six sessions on various aspects of its communications work.
Once again around 1,000 biomedical institutions took part, from 31 countries across the world from Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania to North and South America, and there was also a rise in the number of partner institutions that supported this year’s social media campaign (#BOARD22).
In total 158 partner institutions pledged their support to the campaign from 32 countries across five continents. Among these 45 partner institutions provided case studies, videos and statements – and some from individual scientists.
Articles highlighting #BOARD22 and EARA activities at the Felasa Congress appeared in a recent edition of LASA magazine.
EARA member the Netherlands Cancer Institute, presented an impressive video showing its lab facilities, including interviews with staff and procedures with animals.
Ana Joao Rodrigues, a neuroscientist at EARA member the University of Minho, Portugal, spoke about her experiences of communicating with the public. She said: “I like to end by saying that if we are alive today, this is in part due to the animal research that contributed to develop vaccines, medical advances and treatments.”
Among other videos were Anna Mitchell, of Oxford University; SEBBM in Spain with interviews from 16 researchers on how they develop innovative strategies to apply the 3Rs in their studies; and Jordana Lenon at the STEM cell learning lab, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
There were many statements on Twitter from institutions and researchers, including Wilbert Freiling, of Charles River; Geraldine Fleurie, President of the Association of Primate Veterinarians; Eirini Fragkiadaki, of the Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Greece, and Transnetyx, USA – all EARA member institutions. In its statement Transnetyx said: “The work of the research community is noble and compassionate, and we encourage you to speak from your heart about what drives you to improve lives and how you do it.”
To coincide with #BOARD22, the annual reports of the Belgium and Portugal Transparency Agreements were published and publicised.
On the day, at the FELASA Congress, four EARA Twitter ambassadors presented a workshop How to promote Public Awareness about Animal Research Using Social Media, which was received with positive reviews.
Also on the day, on Instagram live streams, EARA Twitter ambassadors interviewed scientists about their animal research. Tatjana Pirman, of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, spoke on digestion and nutrition, while Christina Kolla, a MSc student at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, shared her work on breast cancer using mice.