On Thursday, a 24-hour social media campaign, involving 1,000 biomedical institutions across the world, will celebrate proactive communication about animal research.
Both public and private institutions on every continent of the world, including Antarctica, will join Be Open about Animal Research Day – Get on BOARD (use the hashtag #BOARD21) in an initiative co-ordinated by the European Animal Research Association (EARA).
Researchers, vets, lab staff and communicators from most countries in Europe will be involved with support from countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Tunisia, Uruguay and USA.
Throughout the day, EARA will share examples of openness and transparency on its social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook) including these events that will be published on the day:
Live streaming Q&As with scientists on Instagram in Dutch (Biomedical Primate Research Centre); Greek (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki); Polish (Maj Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences); and Portuguese (University of Coimbra).
Other recorded Q&A videos have been sent by Research4Life (Italy); ConScienceTrain (Germany); IRSEA (France); the Philippine Association for Laboratory Animal Science (Philippines); Portuguese Society of Sciences Laboratory in Animals (Portugal); the Polish Zebrafish Society (Poland); National Centre for Biotechnology (Spain); Orsi Academy (Belgium); National Primate Research Centers and Biomedical Research Awareness Day (BRAD) (USA).
Videos including the University of Barcelona, Spain (why animals are used in research), from the Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (interviews with 39 individuals, researchers and vets from 27 different institutions), the Netherlands (Maastricht University), and Portugal (Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research (iCBR)).
In our ongoing #LetsTalkSciComm series on YouTube, team members at advocacy group Pro-Test Deutschland describe how they engage with the public in Germany about animal research, and share their top tips on communication (see previous videos here).
Case studies from Antarctica (Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR)); Portugal (NOVA Medical School, Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S), Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (FCUL)); USA (Americans for Medical Progress); and UK (Agenda Life Sciences) whose case study is available now.
Statements of support, including from International and European organisations ICLAS, FEAM and FELASA and from ANZCCART and ANZLAA (Australia & New Zealand), GIRCOR (France), NABR (USA), FRAME (UK) and from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
EARA executive director, Kirk Leech, said: “It's great to see the worldwide biomedical community demonstrating its commitment to being more open and transparent about its use of animals in research by coming together in this day of celebration. Get on #BOARD21!!!!”
Notes to editors
Follow all the postings on social media using the hashtag #BOARD21.
The European Animal Research Association (EARA) is an organisation that communicates and advocates on biomedical research using animals and provides accurate, evidence-based information. It has 117 partner organisations, including private and public research bodies, universities, regional and national biomedical associations and suppliers, across 21 European countries.
EARA’s vision is to enhance the understanding and recognition of research involving animals across Europe, allowing for a more constructive dialogue with all stakeholders and a more efficient climate for research in Europe www.eara.eu
Animal research is strictly regulated under the EU Directive 2010/63. Every procedure, from a simple blood test to major surgery, requires individual, establishment and project licences, as well as approval from animal welfare and ethical review bodies.
All organisations are committed to the ‘3Rs’ of replacement, reduction and refinement. This means avoiding or replacing the use of animals where possible; minimising the number of animals used per experiment and optimising the experience of the animals to improve animal welfare. Since 2013, it has been illegal to sell or import cosmetics anywhere in the EU where the finished product or its ingredients have been tested on animals.