As Italy prepares to rally for science, science rallies for Italy!

Tomorrow scientists from all over Italy will travel to Rome to join Pro-Test Italia in a rally to save medical research in Italy.

At the rally, which will be held in Rome’s via Colonna Antonina (Montecitorio), from 15.30 until 18.30, speakers from several of Italy’s leading research organizations will join politicians from all major parties and members of Pro-Test Italia. There they will unite to send a message to the Italian people and government that “There is no future without research!” and that they must reject damaging amendments to EU directive 2010/63/EU on animal research, amendments that threaten many promising areas of medical research, and actually contravene the EU directive itself!

We have written before about the dire impact that these amendments will have on research in Italy if they are implemented, but also of the opportunity that the Italian government has to prevent this from happening. For a great introduction to the situation in Italy, watch this video produced by members of the group  Italia Unita Per La Corretta Informazione Scientifica.

Among those backing the Pro-Test Italia rally are some of the most prestigious scientific associations, institutes and advocates in Italy, including the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Gruppo 2003, Associazione Ricercatori San Raffaele,  the Italian Association of Biotechnologists, the Italian Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Sindacato Veterinari Liberi Professionisti (Italian veterinary professionals association) and the Associazione Luca Coscioni, and with their support Pro-Test Italia will add more voices to those of more than 3,000 scientists from Italy’s leading medical research charities who recently called on the government to save medical research from bad laws.

But it’s not just Italian scientists that are backing Pro-Test Italia, the Basel Declaration Society, European Mind and Metabolism Association, and the European Animal Research Campaign Centre and UK advocacy group Understanding Animal Research issued a statement of support for Pro-Test Italia.

UAR – Pro-Test Italia Statement

EARCC – Pro-Test Italia Statement

Scientific organizations in the USA are also rallying in support of Pro-Test Italia. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), the USA’s largest coalition of biomedical researchers, which represents 27 scientific societies and over 110,000 researchers from around the world, issued a strong statement of support for their Italian colleagues and Pro-Test Italia on the eve of the rally.

FASEB Pro-test Italia Rally Statement

The American Physiological Society (APS), an organization whose membership of over 10,000 health professionals and scientists is dedicated to devoted to fostering education, scientific research, and dissemination of information in the physiological sciences, also added their voice in support of Italian science.

APS statement on Pro-Test Italia rally

So as Pro-Test Italia gather in Rome they will be giving a voice not just to their fellow Italians, but also to scientists and supporters of medical progress around the world who have watched the developing crisis in Italy with growing concern.

Follow events tomorrow on the Facebook groups of Pro-Test Italia and Speaking of Research, and on twitter by following the hashtag #iostoconlaricerca (I’m for research).

We wish our friends in Pro-Test Italia well as they prepare for tomorrow’s rally for the future of Italian science, the hopes of many thousands of scientists, physicians and patients across Italy – and indeed the world – are with them.

Speaking of Research

To learn more about the role of animal research in advancing human and veterinary medicine, and the threat posed to this progress by the animal rights lobby, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.