accepts the use of animals in research for medical benefit, if suffering is minimized and/or there is no alternative to the use of animals (Ipsos MORI, 2010).
A key component of the shifting views toward animal research in the United Kingdom has been due to increased openness and public engagement. It is important, Blakemore stressed, that scientists themselves speak out to win the trust of the public, politicians, and the media. Ipsos MORI polls show that the majority of the public trusts scientists to tell them the truth, yet scientists do not normally engage with the public to provide information about their research (Ipsos MORI, 2008). Blakemore noted that in recent years, against the backdrop of political support, including new legislation to prevent violence, there has been an increase in the willingness of researchers to talk openly about their work. In addition, there was growing public support of animal research with groups such as Pro-Test3 holding rallies in support of animal testing in medical research. In reports of advances resulting from research, more institutions are openly identifying the animal species used in the research, which, Blakemore noted, has had a positive impact on public opinion.
ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKSHOP AND REPORT
Following the overview of issues presented by Blakemore, the workshop considered current and emerging international regulations governing animal research and the impact of legal trends, including animal rights laws, Freedom of Information requests, and state “sunshine laws,” on the use of animals in research (Chapters 2 and 3). The next session of the workshop focused on the implications of these laws, regulations, and policies for neuroscience research, and considered case studies applying the “3Rs” (replacement, refinement, and reduction) to neuroscience research (Chapters 4 and 5). The final portion of the workshop focused on engaging the public, politicians, and the media in animal research issues, and developing core principles for regulating the use of animals in research (Chapters 6 and 7). In the closing session, session chairs identified what they viewed as the key points that emerged (Chapter 8 and summarized below).
Highlights of Workshop Sessions
Session chairs noted key points that emerged during workshop presentations and discussions: