First YAE event of 2021: a brainstorming session on ‘Bridging the gap in knowledge on animal experimentation’ was held online on 12 February.

The topic of animal experimentation is highly controversial and generates strong opinions and emotions. As for many other controversial topics (environmental changes, genetic manipulation, use of technology to control the mind and the body, etc.) it is of fundamental importance that people form their opinions upon robust, verifiable and actual information.

In particular now, at a time when many governments are taking decisions that will determine how bio-medical experiments can be performed, offering transparent information on common praxis and regulation in these fields is important.

From 2021 we therefore aim at developing a series of webinars aimed at assembling and disseminating robust, verifiable and actual information about some of these controversial topics, starting with animal experimentation. We think that this topic can be of interest to YAE members across all diverse disciplines and backgrounds and we encourage broad participation, not only from those working in the life sciences.

As an initial step toward the development of the webinar structure, we organized a brainstorming session on “Bridging the gap in knowledge on animal experimentation”.

The aims of the brain storming was to:

1) Develop and Plan a series of webinars that would discuss goals, regulations, benefits and caveats, and alternatives to animal research in different Life Science fields. During the brainstorming session we welcomed thoughts on what information people need to make well informed decisions, on which information is already available in different formats, on the ways to make information available to different publics, and look for volunteers ready to take part in this activity

2) Identify ways to understand what questions people have about animal experimentation and what kind of information they can currently access. Ideally, we’d like to perform a survey of publics that measures the level of knowledge around animal research, but there may be other approaches. We are particularly interested in finding out what the public does (and does not) know about animal welfare and regulations governing the ethical use of animals in research. During the brainstorming session we welcomed feedback on how to perform such research. YAE members from social sciences and humanities would be particularly welcomed to give their input.