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Belgian researchers commit to Transparency Agreement on animal research

Belgian universities, research centres and companies have signed a Transparency Agreement on animal research with a commitment to communicating in a more open way about how animals are used in research.

Under the leadership of the Belgian Council for Animal Research (BCLAS), and in collaboration with the European Animal Research Association (EARA) which supports the biomedical sector in Europe, 18 Belgian universities and private companies have now drawn up a Transparency Agreement outlining their engagement towards open communication on animal testing. The agreement contains four main commitments:

1. Create more clarity about how, when and why animals are used in research
2. Better communication with the media and the public; ao about implementing the alternatives and reducing or refining animal testing
3. Offer the general public the opportunity to become acquainted with laboratory animal research and the regulations that apply to it, for example via open lab days
4. Report the impact of our communication and share experiences annually

The signatory organisations are: Ablynx, GSK, ILVO, Janssen, KU Leuven, Orsi Academy, Remynd, University of Antwerp, UCB, UCLouvain, University of Ghent, University of Hasselt, University of Mons, University of Namur, ULB, University of Liege, VIB, VUB

The full agreement and an overview of the signatories can be found on the BCLAS website.

Similar Transparency Agreements have already been rolled out in the and Portugal, Spain and the UK.

A focus on animal welfare and communication

Belgium is internationally renowned for its pioneering biological and biomedical research and basic research remains enormously important to understand biological processes and disease. Unfortunately, animals are still needed today for many parts of this research and all new medicines are tested on animals before they reach human clinical trials.

The regulations for the use of laboratory animals are strict. Animal experiments can only happen if there is no alternative available, and in some cases, they are required by law. However, every animal experiment requires a careful ethical consideration, with consideration of the value of the research and whether it is necessary to use animals.

“For the time being we cannot do without animal testing,” explains Liesbeth Aerts of Infopoint Animal Testing (IPPO). “Because animal welfare is important to all of us, researchers continue to focus on reducing and refining animal research, in addition to applying and developing alternatives (replace, reduce, refine): the 3Rs.

“This transparency agreement underlines the importance that researchers in Belgium attach to animal welfare. By communicating openly, we want to create more clarity about when, how and why animal experiments are currently necessary. ”

“EARA fully supports this important initiative of the Belgian biomedical sector,” added EARA executive director Kirk Leech. “Thanks to this agreement, the general public in Belgium will be better informed about animal research and the role it plays within scientific study.

“More openness will also clearly show what efforts that the public and private sectors are making to minimise animal use and to develop better alternatives.”

“We are pleased that a large number of companies and institutes in Belgium that work with animals or fund research with animals, joined the agreement,” concludes Aerts, “Our hope is to raise the bar for the entire sector, not only in relation to the 3Rs, but also when it comes to communication.”

End

Notes for editors

BCLAS is a professional and scientific association that aims to promote the replacement, reduction and refinement of laboratory animal use by driving reflection, sharing information, providing education and support to the scientific community, authorities and public, in order to lead to an ethical, responsible and qualitative research enabling further improvement in human & animal health.

For more information Liesbeth Aerts, Infopoint animal research liesbeth.aerts@kuleuven.vib.be
+32 16 37 67 77

‘By hiding we are not helping public understanding’, Portuguese audience hears at EARA event

EARA’s latest event in Lisbon, this week, highlighted the importance of the new Portuguese Transparency Agreement and the need to be proactive in giving the public information on the use of animals in research.

Susana Lima of Champalimaud Foundation presenting her work at the EARA event on openness about animal research

Around 60 people, from the life sciences community heard speakers from the Champalimaud Foundation, which hosted the event, EARA, the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and the publication Visão discuss the topic, Improving Openness in Animal Research in Portugal.

The initiative at the EARA’s member Champalimaud Foundation was supported by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).

EARA Executive Director, Kirk Leech, explained why there is a need to improve openness and transparency in Portugal.

He outlined the fact that Portugal’s ‘animal party’ has now four deputies at the parliament, reinforcing the importance of the Portuguese Transparency Agreement signed by the main universities and research centres in the country.

Neuroscientist, Susana Lima (pictured), of the Champalimaud Foundation explained that her work on sexual behaviour of mice represents a double challenge to communicate to the public. Firstly, because it is basic research with animals and secondly because it is sex research.

“I have the responsibility to communicate my research, it’s one of my duties,” Susana said.

“By hiding we are not helping anybody. People don’t know how animals are handled and the general public thinks there are no rules.”

Ana Mena, head of public engagement, at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) described how IGC has been committed to openness even before the signature of the Transparency Agreement proposed by EARA.

“The Transparency Agreement was a very natural step for IGC”, she said. “It was more a formalisation and can encourage other research institutes to be more open.”

She explained that the establishment of the IGC Ethics Committee gave confidence at the institutional level to adopt a proactive approach on communicating animal research.

Also, IGC looked at how other bodies have communicated on animal research such as, Understanding Animal Research (UAR) and the National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), in order to develop their strategy.  

Examples of how IGC is committed to openness include visits to schools, Open Days, the NOS Alive Music Festival, and multimedia resources such as “Me and my body” and “The amazing world of living things: a short story about Evolution” available at the IGC YouTube Channel.

Multimedia resources from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC)

“Use as much different communication channels as possible to reach different people,” Ana Mena concluded.

Science journalist, Sara Sá, of Visão, gave the context of science journalism in Portugal showing data from SciCom, that there are just 17 journalists covering science, health and environment – only two have a scientific background.

Highlighting EARA’s work and the need for researchers to communicate on this subject, she said: “Instead of waiting for journalists, scientists should make the first step and speak about this.”

Giving more advices on how scientists could improve their relationships with journalists, Sara mentioned the “creation of a bond with a journalist you trust” and the “magic of storytelling”.

The event ended with a panel discussion to answer the audience’s questions including “Where we draw the line of what we should communicate?” Where Kirk Leech gave advice on how each institution should discuss internally their communication strategy and refer to the EARA Communications Handbook.

Panel discussion with Kirk Leech (EARA), Ana Mena (IGC), Sara Sá (Visão) and Susana Lima (Champalimaud Foundation)

Harvard scientist calls U.S. airlines’ refusal to carry research animals ‘threat to American healthcare’.

This article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal 17/09/2019, written by Richard T. BornProfessor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School,

Professor Born was commenting on the formal complaint lodged with the US Department of Transportation, by the biomedical sector, against four airlines – British Airways, China Southern, Qatar Airways and United Airlines.

“Transporting medical research animals by air is essential to the development of new medicine. However, most commercial airlines and air freight carriers have given in to pressure from animal rights activists and have refused to transport research animals. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has an opportunity to right this wrong by making clear that airlines may not discriminate when transporting animals.  Existing federal laws make this clear. This discriminatory practice of refusing to fly animals intended for scientific research on commercial airlines poses a direct threat to various aspects of American life, including the advancement of American healthcare, and potentially the health of the American public as a whole, as well as that of their pets.

Most major U.S.-based commercial airlines including United[1], American,[2] Delta[3], and Virgin Atlantic[4], and a number of international air carriers that include British Airways, China Southern Airlines, and Quatar Airways[5] have given in to pressure from the outspoken organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), in their aggressive campaign against airlines that transport research animals. Similarly, most major air freight carriers including DHL, UPS and FedEx  have refused to transport animals for vital scientific research[6]. The same airlines, however, transport animals for non-research purposes, such as for zoos or as pets, or in the form of service animals; and most recently, some airlines allowed for the transportation of service animals as large as miniature horses.

At Harvard, researchers work with animals to conduct basic and clinical scientific studies as well as anatomic, metabolic and behavioral studies to generate new knowledge which could benefit both humans and animals.

Researchers rely on responsibly conducted and extensively monitored research on living animals in order to develop safe and effective treatments for both people and animals. Access to live-animal subjects is required in order to conduct this revelatory work. At the same time, current laws and regulations mandate this kind of research before life-saving medicines and treatments can be approved for use in humans.

As long as the government requires this research, it must enforce existing laws that prohibit discrimination against shipment of cargo that is done in compliance with the law.  The International Air Transportation Association has stated that “In today’s world, carriage of live animals by air is considered the most humane and expedient method of transportation over long distances.[7]” Therefore, the current position taken by many airlines is not only in violation of law, it threatens the progress of key research which could reduce or eradicate diseases.

Most notably, the inactivated (killed) polio vaccine (IPV) was developed by Dr. Jonas Salk and first licensed for use in the U.S. in 1955, and a few years later a live attenuated (weakened) oral polio vaccine (OPV) was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin and became available in 1961. The essential role of animal research in creating these vaccines was underscored by Professor Albert Sabin’s 1956 paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association where he stated:  “[These studies] were necessary to solve many problems before an oral polio vaccine could become a reality.”

Unless we address the threat this discrimination presents to the advancement of healthcare, the continued and future growth of medical knowledge in America is likely to suffer.  Restrictions on animal research will halt the development of medications and therapies, and, in response, the production and generation of life-saving treatments intended for public use will stagnate.

According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, the United States is the largest market for biopharmaceuticals, accounting for around a third of the global market, and we are the world leader in biopharmaceutical R&D. U.S. firms conduct over half of the world’s R&D in pharmaceuticals ($75 billion) and hold the intellectual property rights on most new medicines. The overall economic impact of the biopharmaceutical industry on the U.S. economy is substantial. The industry accounted for more than $1.3 trillion in economic output, representing 4 percent of total U.S. output in 2015 alone. This total economic impact includes $558 billion in revenue from biopharmaceutical businesses and $659 billion from suppliers and worker spending. 

Unsuspecting Americans who are unaware of such discrimination against medical research animals will be the ones who suffer the most, as the prices of medications skyrocket and their development and production costs increase in response to complications within the development process.

The U. S. Department of Transportation should enforce existing laws, require airlines to eliminate policies which discriminate against animal transportation, and base carriage regulations solely on the facts. And the fact is that the transportation of animals is safe, legal, legitimate, necessary and essential for life-saving biomedical research.

This is an issue that should not be delayed. The health of the American people requires action on the part of the DOT immediately, to protect and uphold the American principles of prosperity and wellbeing.

As a broader policy matter, if airlines are allowed to discriminate against the shipment of cargo based solely on the political views of some, where will this end?  The free flow of goods in commerce will become subject to the political whims of a few that control these transportation services.”

End

1 https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/airlines-fight-effort-force-them-carry-lab-animals

2 https://www.aacargo.com/learn/animals.html

3 https://www.deltacargo.com/Cargo/catalog/accepted-animals

4 https://www.aircargonews.net/airlines/virgin-atlantic-cargo-calls-for-ethical-standards-for-airfreight/

5 https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOT-OST-2018-0124-0001

6 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fedex-and-ups-commit-to-not-ship-research-mammals/

7 https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/live-animals/Pages/index.aspx

End

Swiss researchers hear arguments for openness

EARA’s free event in Zurich, has highlighted the importance of the forthcoming Swiss transparency agreement and its commitment to greater public openness about research using animals.

Members of the Swiss life sciences community heard from a panel of experts from primate research, animal welfare, and science communication on this topic and the steps toward a formal agreement (STAAR) between institutions in Switzerland on openness.

Professor Michael Hottiger, (pictured) molecular biologist and President of Forschung für Leben, rounded off the event by describing the aims and commitments of Swiss Transparency Agreement on Animal Research (STAAR), due to be launched in the new year, which he co-initiated.

‘Such a transparency agreement is a commitment to rigorous and responsible research, and to want people to find more out about animal research.’

Professor Valerio Mante, group leader at the Institute of Neuroinformatics (UZH), meanwhile gave a practical example of his experience of being more proactive when discussing the primate research that he leads.

‘When I talk to people and show them the experiments, their attitudes are always more positive at the end than when they first walked in,’ he said.

This involved producing professional photos and videos including a 24-hour recording of the labs and the enclosures where the monkeys are kept, distributing information about animal research on websites and in talks, and inviting groups such as schools, students, and journalists to discuss the experiments.

Kirk Leech, EARA Executive Director, outlined the past, present, and future pressures facing the European biomedical research community, which demonstrated the need to provide better information to the public.

‘One of the main problems is that there is not a balanced narrative of the use of animals in research,’ he said.

He then went on to discuss the opportunities available to the life sciences community to improve openness, including through social media, non-technical summaries (NTS), and in particular transparency agreements.

‘NTS are a great opportunity to give clarity to why you are doing research to a non-scientific audience.’

Head of Communication at the Swiss Academy of Sciences, Marcel Falk, expanded on the need for transparency.

Marcel advised how researchers that use animals should interact with the media: ‘A lot of people rush into answering, but first be sure that you know which section of the newspaper it will appear in, and find out what kind of story the journalist has in mind.’

The event ended with a panel discussion to answer a broad array of questions including, ‘why don’t you adopt a more emotional approach to communicating about animal research?’ where the panel explained that there is a place for both rationality and emotion communication, where factual information and personal experiences are combined.

The event, at the University of Zurich (UZH), was supported by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).

Free EARA event on openness in animal research in the Netherlands, this December

The latest in the series of EARA science communications events, supported by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), will take place in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on 11 December.

Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Maastricht, the Netherlands

Improving Openness in Animal Research in the Netherlands is a free event (register here) and will focus on why scientists, researchers, press officers and other stakeholders should talk openly about animal research, but will not be a debate about the ethics of animal experimentation.

It will take place on the Wednesday, 11 December, (13:30 – 17:00 CET) at the University Maastricht and is a public event, although it will be of particular interest to those working in the life sciences sector.

Following the presentations there will be a panel discussion followed by a drinks reception.

Speakers:

Kirk Leech, Executive Director, European Animal Research Association

Kirk is Executive Director of EARA, a communications and advocacy organisation whose mission is to uphold the interests of biomedical, and other life sciences, research and healthcare development across Europe. Previously Kirk worked for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and Understanding Animal Research, the UK’s leading advocacy group on the use of animals in medical research.

Researcher from Maastricht University TBC

A researcher who has worked with animals who has experience talking about their research in the mainstream media.

Sicco de Knecht, Science journalist, ScienceGuide

An experienced science journalist who will give advice on how and why researchers who work with animals should communicate with the mainstream media.

Dr. Andreas Lengeling, Animal Research & Welfare Officer, Max-Planck-Society

Andreas is the animal research and animal welfare officer of the Max-Planck-Society. He is responsible for the implementation of the society’s white paper on animal research. His role involves the support of 32 Max-Planck Institutes in all aspects of animal experimentation and animal welfare. Previously, Andreas has held faculty and group leader positions at the University of Edinburgh (UK) and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany. He has studied Biology and has obtained a PhD in Genetics at the University of Bielefeld.

Free EARA event on openness in animal research in Portugal, this November

The latest in the series of EARA science communications events, supported by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, on 20 November.

Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal

Improving Openness in Animal Research in Portugal is a free event (register here) and will focus on why scientists, researchers, press officers and other stakeholders should talk openly about animal research, but will not be a debate about the ethics of animal experimentation.

It will take place on the Wednesday, 20 November, (13:30 – 18:00 WET) at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown and is a public event, although it will be of particular interest to those working in the life sciences sector.

Following the presentations, moderated by Dr. Isabel Campos, Animal Platform Coordinator of Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, there will be a panel discussion followed by a drinks reception.

Speakers:

Kirk Leech, Executive Director, European Animal Research Association

Kirk is Executive Director of EARA, a communications and advocacy organisation whose mission is to uphold the interests of biomedical, and other life sciences, research and healthcare development across Europe. Previously Kirk worked for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and Understanding Animal Research, the UK’s leading advocacy group on the use of animals in medical research.

Dr. Susana Lima, Neuroscientist and Biologist, Champalimaud Center for the Unknown

Susana Lima completed her PhD at Yale in 2005 (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, Science Journalist, Visão

Sara Sá has been Science and Health journalist at the Portuguese news magazine Visão since the year 2000. She has covered subjects from Cancer and Climate Change, to Genetics and Neurosciences. Sara also contributes to other publications in the editorial group Trus 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.

Dr. Ana Mena, Head of the Science Communication and Outreach Team, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência

After completing her PhD in Cell Biology from the University Nova de Lisboa, Ana 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.

Statement by EARA on video footage taken from the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) in Germany

This is a public statement just issued by EARA, regarding video footage that appeared this week in the media of several European countries. 

The European Animal Research Association (EARA) was established to better inform the European public and political decision makers of the continued need for, and benefits of, the humane use of animals in biomedical research.

The use of animals, including monkeys and dogs, has played an important role in the safety testing of new medicines and chemicals that may affect human health. In addition, under existing EU legislation, safety testing on animals before human trials is a legal requirement.

EARA was shocked and dismayed to see footage taken from inside the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) in Hamburg Germany. Whilst the footage has been edited, and we would ask that the unedited footage be made publicly available, what has been shown so far reveals unacceptable animal welfare standards.

The handling subjected to some of the animals, the cages monkeys are held in, and the post-operative conditions that some animals were left in, do not belong in any twenty first century research facility.

EARA was disappointed that LPT has so far refused to answer any of the questions raised by the film, even after EARA has urged them to. Such silence does a disservice to the thousands of researchers and research institutes in Europe involved in the honourable endeavour of biomedical research, and who pay a high regard to animal welfare.

We urge LPT to make a full statement addressing these concerns, and to work with the authorities in its investigation of LPT’s compliance with animal welfare practices and regulations.

Kirk Leech
EARA Executive Director

Free EARA event on openness in animal research in Switzerland, this November

The latest in the series of EARA science communications events, supported by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), will take place in Zurich, Switzerland, on 6 November.

University of Zurich, Switzerland

Improving Openness in Animal Research in Switzerland is a free event (register here) and will focus on why scientists, researchers, press officers and other stakeholders should talk openly about animal research, but will not be a debate about the ethics of animal experimentation.

It will take place on the Wednesday, 6 November, (13:30 – 16:30 CEST) at the University of Zurich (UZH) and is a public event, although it will be of particular interest to those working in the life sciences sector.

Following the presentations, moderated by Dr. Michaela Thallmair, Animal Welfare Officer, of UZH, there will be a panel discussion followed by a drinks reception.

Speakers:

Kirk Leech, Executive Director, European Animal Research Association

Kirk is Executive Director of EARA, a communications and advocacy organisation whose mission is to uphold the interests of biomedical, and other life sciences, research and healthcare development across Europe. Previously Kirk worked for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and Understanding Animal Research, the UK’s leading advocacy group on the use of animals in medical research.

Dr. Valerio Mante, group leader at the Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich

Valerio Mante is a group leader at the Institute of Neuroinformatics of the University of Zurich and Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland. Dr. Mante holds a master’s degree in physics and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from ETH Zurich. For his Ph.D. thesis, where he studied the computational principles of early visual processing in mammals. Subsequently, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Bill Newsome at Stanford University, California. In Stanford, he studied the neural processes underlying context-dependent behaviour, and discovered a new mechanism that allows neural signals to be flexibly gated between different brain areas. Since 2013, he is back in Zurich, where his laboratory focuses on understanding the role of prefrontal cortex in normal and impaired cognition.

A Journalist (TBC)

A journalist from the mainstream media who will give advice on how researchers should engage productively with the media, the importance of engaging with the media, and how communicating with journalists/the media can be beneficial for scientists.

Prof. Michael O. Hottiger, DVM, PhD, Molecular Biologist and President of Forschung für Leben

Michael O. Hottiger is a veterinary by training and obtained his PhD in the field of molecular biology at the University of Zurich (UZH). After postdoctoral studies at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ann Arbor, he became an independent group leader at the Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry of the UZH. He has now a full professorship in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology jointly at the Vetsuisse and the Sciences Faculties of the UZH and is the head of the Department of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease. In his research, Michael O. Hottiger focusses mainly on inflammation-associated diseases. He is since 2012 a member of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation and is president of the association ‘Forschung für Leben’ which aims at fostering the dialog between scientist and the public. This year, he co-initiated the ‘Swiss Transparency Agreement on Animal Research’ (STAAR).

Be proud of your research because you are contributing to human health, Spanish audience hears at EARA event

EARA’s latest event in Alicante, this week emphasised the importance of the Spanish Transparency Agreement and being more open with the public about research using animals.

More than 130 people in the life sciences community, from 10 different institutions, heard a panel of experts from neuroscience, animal welfare, and the science media discuss the topic, Improving Openness in Animal Research in Spain.

The event, at the Institute of Neurosciences of Alicante (CSIC-UMH), was supported by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).

EARA Executive Director, Kirk Leech, provided the background for why there is a need to improve openness in animal research in Spain. He outlined the growing polarisation in public attitudes towards animal research, the need to provide better information to the public, and in turn the importance of the Spanish Transparency Agreement, signed by more than 140 institutions.

‘Transparency agreements bring public and private research together to work to improve openness in animal research,’ he said.

Professor Juan Lerma, neuroscientist at the CSIC-UMH and editor-in-chief of Neuroscience, illustrated the success of the Spanish Transparency Agreement, ‘this agreement has been a role model for other countries,’ he said.

Highlighting the importance of animal research, he emphasised the need for researchers to proactively communicate and educate so that this essential research can continue.

‘You must be proud of your research because you are contributing to human health. This is something we must defend and support,’ he said.

Elaborating on the need for transparency, Dr. Carmen Agustín (pictured), neuroscientist at the Functional Neuroanatomy Lab at Jaume I University and the University of Valencia, talked about her experiences of being actively engaged with the public about her work through blogs, twitter, TV.

Dr. Agustín reassured the audience on being open about their research: ‘Usually people are scared to talk about research on social media as they think they will get a lot of negative feedback, but this is not the case.’

Science journalist, Daniel Mediavilla, of El País, and one of the founders of the science and technology news website, Materia, expanded on engaging with the public.

He described how scientists working with animals can work well with the media, ‘Get familiar with the media, adapt your message to the outlet, know your media environment, and know personally, if possible, all the journalists you should talk to in case of need.’

In addition, he gave advice on how to have a louder voice in the media, ‘Emotions are almost everything, sometimes scientists have to use emotional aids.’

The event ended with a panel discussion to answer a broad array of questions including, ‘How to reach those not interested in science?’ where Dr. Agustín suggested giving talks at events which draw in those who wouldn’t normally attend science events, such as Pint of Science events at pubs and bars.

EARA is looking for Twitter Ambassadors

The European Animal Research Association is looking for Twitter ambassadors in the following countries – Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Latvia Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

An EARA Twitter ambassador is responsible for managing a Twitter account in their own language and providing accurate, evidence-based news and other information on the impact and benefits of animal research.

There are currently EARA Twitter accounts in seven languages, operating in countries including Germany @EARA_DE and Italy @EARA_IT.

Candidates must have a background in biomedical research and are either living in the above-mentioned countries or have worked or studied there previously. They should also be available to start as soon as possible.

This is a paid freelance position. If you are interested in becoming an EARA Twitter Ambassador contact us by e-mail – info@eara.eu.