Biomedical institutions from around the world shared their stories and experiences of being open with the public during EARA’s Be Open About Animal Research Day (#BOARD22) last week. 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. 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 and Christina Kolla, a MSc student at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, shared her work on breast cancer using mice. 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.”