Why It’s Important To Be Open About Animal Research
May 15, 2020
In this series of videos from Improving Openness in Animal Research in Portugal, an event that coincided with the establishment of the Portuguese Transparency Agreement, learn why it’s important for scientists to be proactive in giving the public information on the use of animals in research.
By hearing perspectives from a variety of speakers, each of whose work is connected to animal research in some way, you’ll better understand what the public want to know, what information is helpful to share, and how to communicate in a way that contributes to collective understanding of the importance of the responsible use of animals in research.
This event was hosted by the European Animal Research Association.
Kirk Leech has served as the executive director of the European Animal Research Association since 2014. He previously worked in government affairs at The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and was a project manager for Understanding Animal Research, a leading advocacy group in the United Kingdom that explains why animals are used in medical and scientific research.
Susana Lima, PhD
Susana Lima is a neuroscientist and biologist at the Champalimaud Center for the Unknown. Lima completed her PhD at Yale (under the supervision of Gero Miesenböck) and was subsequently a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (in Tony Zador’s group) and a research fellow at Champalimuad Center for the Unknown. She became a principal investigator in 2013 and her laboratory uses the house mouse as a model system to investigate the neuronal mechanisms underlying sexual behavior in males and females. Since the beginning of her career, Susana has been interested in openness and transparency about animal research and therefore disseminated her work with the general public in several different formats, including public talks, radio, journals, and magazines.
Sara Sá is a Science and Health journalist at the Portuguese news magazine Visão. Sá has covered subjects from cancer and climate change, to genetics and neurosciences. Sara also contributes to other publications in the editorial group Trust in News, including Visão Júnior, Visão Saúde and Visão História. Her work has been distinguished by the Cancer Journalism Prize (LPCC ), Unesco, and Apifarma. On top of her journalistic work, Sara is also the co-author of the Popular Science book Cem Mitos Sem Lógica.
Ana Mena, PhD
Ana Mena is the head of Public Engagement at the Gulbenkian Institute of Science (IGC), Portugal. After completing her PhD in cell biology from the NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal, Mena worked at the IGC as postdoctoral fellow in science communication, addressing how to raise public awareness about the role of animal research in science. This project included the engagement of scientists in this problematic area, their training to better communicate their research, and the implementation of several communication actions. The strategy of open communication was further continued when she became coordinator of the science communication unit at the IGC in 2012. Ana was also a member of the IGC Ethics Committee, participating in the review of projects involving the use of animals, or of human subjects, from 2010 until 2016.