Improving Openness in Animal Research in Spain

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Auditorio Edificio severo Ochoa. Campus San Juan Edificio Severo Ochoa - UMH

Av. de la Cadena, 33-47

03550 Alicante

Spain

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Event description
Discussing openness in animal research in Spain at the Alicante institute of Neurosciences.

About this Event

The European Animal Research Association (EARA) and the Institute of Neurosciences of Alicante (CSIC-UMH), supported by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), invite you to discuss improving openness in communications about animal research with the general public, political decision makers, and opinion formers in Spain.

Attendance at this workshop is free, but registration is essential.

The workshop will be held in English.

TIMINGS:

14.30 Registration

15.00-18.00 Speakers and panel discussion

18.10-19.20 Drinks reception

This workshop is offered to those working in the life sciences sector and is designed to support researchers and institutions that wish to be more open about the animal research they carry out. The focal theme of the workshop is to discuss why scientists, researchers, press officers and other stakeholders can and should talk about animal research; it is not a debate about the ethics of animal experimentation.

Openness in the public debate on animal research has been increasing in many European countries and research institutions. This is true for Spain, where a Spanish Transparency Agreement on Animal Research now operates and has been signed by over 140 institutions.

However, there is still significant reluctance within many academic institutions, and amongst scientists, towards conducting a more open and consistent dialogue with the public. Many scientists are still afraid that speaking more openly about their research and their motivations will make them targets, while others lack the confidence to put the case for animal research to what they view as a sceptical public and a potentially hostile media.

At the institutional level this is also evident as highlighted in the 2018 EARA study of European websites which showed that out of 1200 institutions that conduct or support biomedical research using animals, under half carry a recognisable statement on their websites explaining the use of animals in research/animal welfare, and fewer than 40% carried any imagery related to animal research.

The discussion is relevant for members of institutions that are involved in animal research - directly or indirectly - and are currently hesitant to speak out in the media or to participate in public engagement activities.

We hope that this workshop, and those hosted by EARA in other countries, will help to kick-start a cultural change and support research institutions to handle this issue constructively.

MODERATOR:

Dr. Cristina Márquez, Neuroscientist, Instituto de Neurosciencias de Alicante

After her PhD in Neuroscience at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain) and postdoctoral periods at the Brain Mind Institute at EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) and the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown (Lisbon, Portugal), Cristina joined the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante (CSIC-UMH) in 2016 as Principal investigator of the laboratory of Neural Circuits of Social Behavior. During her career she has been very actively involved in animal welfare and scientific outreach actions. She was one of the founders of the Champalimaud Animal Welfare Body, has collaborated as scientist advisor for the press, radio and TV, and has organized multiple events for science outreach.

SPEAKERS:

Kirk Leech, Executive Director, European Animal Research Association

Kirk is Executive Director of EARA, a communications and advocacy organisation whose mission is to uphold the interests of biomedical, and other life sciences, research and healthcare development across Europe. Previously Kirk worked for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and Understanding Animal Research, the UK’s leading advocacy group on the use of animals in medical research.

Dr. Carmen Agustín, Neuroscientist, University of Valencia

BSc in Biology and PhD in Neuroscience. Lecturer at Dept Cell and Functional Biology & Physical Antropology (Universitat de València). Researcher at Functional Neuroanatomy Lab (Universitat Jaume I de Castelló & Universitat de València). Her research is focused in neurobiology of socio-sexual and parental behaviour, olfactory system, and murine models of neurological disease. Since 2012 she has been actively engaged in science communication, as a blogger, speaker and in different media such as TV, radio and Twitter. She will speak about her experience in communicating animal research to the public.

Daniel Mediavilla, Journalist, El País

Daniel Mediavilla holds a degree in Audiovisual Communication from the University of Navarra and is one of the founders of Materia, the science and technology news website. For five years he has been a science journalist for El País . Previously, Daniel worked as advisor to the Secretary of State for Research, Felipe Pétriz, in the Ministry of Science and Innovation, and as a journalist for the science section of ABC and Público.

Professor Juan Lerma, Neuroscientist and editor-in-chief of Neuroscience, Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante

Juan Lerma is Professor at the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and the Editor-in-Chief of Neuroscience. He chaired the Animal Research Committee of COSCE that established the Transparency Agreement on the Use of Animals in Research. Previously, he has been Director of the Instituto de Neurociencias (CSIC-UMH) (2007-2016), Chair of the PanEuropean Regional Committee of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), and Secretary General of FENS.

Date and Time

Location

Auditorio Edificio severo Ochoa. Campus San Juan Edificio Severo Ochoa - UMH

Av. de la Cadena, 33-47

03550 Alicante

Spain

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