Imperial openness to the use of animals in research has been recognized for the second time with a Leader in Openness award.
Imperial College London was one of 13 organizations to be awarded Openness Leader status by Understanding Animal Research in 2019, when the program first launched. The position of Opening Leader is now reconfirmed for the period 2022-2024.
The College is a signatory member of the Animal Research Transparency Concordat, which means that together with 120 other organizations, it has made the following commitments:
- We will be clear about when, how and why we use animals in research
- We will improve our communications with the media and the public about our research using animals
- We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to learn about research using animals
Imperial regularly publishes reports and reports on new discoveries and developments that have involved animal research. Alongside this, staff worked with the Reddit website to produce live Q&As where the public can ask scientists questions about animal research, one of which talks about work on a COVID-19 vaccine and research animal involved.
We want people to understand how we work with animals, the care we take for their well-being, and the important role our animal work plays in scientific and medical advances. Robert Floyd
The College has also published articles on how Imperial staff ensured animal welfare despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. In December 2020, the Imperial Animal Unit also launched a series of podcasts to share the voice of animal technicians working at the facilities during the lockdown.
In September 2021, Imperial released its latest animal research report, detailing some of the recent developments at Imperial’s animal research facilities and exploring how work involving animals has contributed to important research at the College, including work to combat COVID-19.
In 2021, a new Hub was created for the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, refinement). The main objective of the Hub is to promote the principles of the 3Rs throughout the College and to influence the College’s culture of care.
These projects are in addition to a section dedicated to animal research on Imperial’s website where people can learn more about Imperial’s work in this area.
In order to confirm its status as a leader in openness, Imperial went through several stages of evaluation. These have been designed to assess organizations that devote considerable resources and energy to following best practices, embedding openness within their organizations and making the Concordat goals a reality.
The award was presented after an extensive evaluation process by a public panel, a peer review process and a second round of public review.
Robert Floyd, Director of Central Biomedical Services, said: “This is fabulous news and reflects our ongoing efforts to promote openness and awareness of animal research.
“We want people to understand how we work with animals, the care we take for their well-being, and the important role our animal work plays in scientific and medical progress. Many people have contributed to this award, and it recognizes their creativity and efforts. Congratulations to all.
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