Back in February I wrote about the prominent role of Zebrafish in the British Heart Foundation’s Mending Broken Hearts campaign, an initiative that not only highlighted fascinating developments in regenerative medicine but also the degree to which the public attitude towards animal research has shifted in the past decade.
One reason for the change in attitudes towards animal research in the UK has been an increasing willingness on the part of scientists to discuss their work with the public. Today I learned from our friends Understanding Animal Research (UAR) of a great example of what public engagement is all about, and once again zebrafish are the stars of the show. UAR have awarded their very first Wednesday Winner award to the The MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics at the University of Sheffield for their new Fish for Science website.
The Fish for Scence website provides an excellent introduction to the role of zebrafish in biomedical research, including – amongst many topics discussed – why they’re used , what diseases are studied, and the techniques used to study them. They also have links to resources where more detailed information about the role of model organisms, and in particular zebrafish, in biomedical research.
It’s a website that should serve as an inspiration to any research laboratory that is considering how to develop its program of outreach activities and improve the public understanding of science, and a worthy Wednesday Winner!