#Animal and research The disconnect

The biggest disconnect between researchers and the general public is not why there is research but how.
The public doesn't know what exactly it is that research does and even less how it goes about doing so. It is true that some will do the effort of understanding or at least trying to but for a vast majority it is just not going to happen overnight, more needs to be done.


When scientists do take the time to explain then they are branded as being biased or as being in favor of research because their livelihood depend on it. In other words damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Lately however there is a welcome wind of change blowing over the research community. It is called transparency and this change is so important because it provides the opportunity to set the record straight. There are however some drawbacks with this approach. It takes multiple tolls on your resources in terms of $€£¥ and time. Whatever you explained yesterday will have to be again today and tomorrow, so be prepared.

What can you prepare for?

Prepare to face the non choice of using rodents or anything else but non human primates as animal model in research! Even in neurosciences. Take a cold look at how some were forced to leave the field and how defence came about way beyond when damage had already been done.

Certainly explaining the difference between basic research where outcomes are not known beforehand and applied research where outcomes are expected beforehand. If it is understood that we are to fund space exploration but we do not know what we might discover other than  by the simple fact of going there and learning, than the same logic applies to research. Again it is the how that matters and if you do not pay attention to explaining the how you will end up in a position where you can only research if and only if a certain outcome can be reached.
An example of this situation is the use of chimpanzees in research. It doesn't matter how very few are being used nor what discoveries in time have been achieved, this particular animal model will no longer be used in research for that door is now locked. A first step towards ending the use of non human primates in research. This door could have been kept open but by narrowing
entrance to its extreme a shut door situation has effectively been achieved.

If you are a policy maker or drafting regulations I ask that you look for similar situations because I guarantee you that similar strategies will be used by those opposing animal use.
How do I know? Simple I have seen it being used as a tactic to increase unwarranted space requirements in aviation at the EC level, in order to make the activity commercially unattractive.

For those of you in research beware of your toolbox for it too can be used against your best intentions, goals and aims. Get ready, those who suffer and are anxiously waiting for treatments , cures and medical progress expect no less from you! Thank you.

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