On 5th December 2014, the Society of Biology and the Home Office's Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU) hosted their annual joint meeting in London. Around 80 participants travelled from all parts of the UK and represented a wide range of interests and expertise; including industrial and academic research, education, charities, policy as well as animal welfare.
This one-day meeting focused on openness and the reporting of animal research. It was co-chaired by Dr Judy MacArthur Clark (Head of Animals in Science Regulation Unit, Home Office) and Professor Dominic Wells (Chair of the Animal Science Group, Society of Biology).
The first session discussed the implementation of openness around animal research – from a governmental as well as bioscience sector perspective:
A workshop encouraged attendees to discuss important practicalities and challenges in preparing organisations and institutions to be more open on their research using animals. The panel discussion that followed focused in particular on public perception, adequate communication, internal management and the protection of academic intellectual property.
The afternoon session concentrated on approaches to improve research using animals:
The afternoon workshop captured attendee experiences in experimental design and publication issues. This was followed by a panel discussion with questions from the audience. Discussions focused on matters around the review and publication of so-called negative results as well as the need to provide ongoing training opportunities for licence holders, especially in terms of experimental design and statistical analysis. It was suggested that the Society of Biology might explore the possibility of providing relevant training courses.