The Big Animal Research Debate: Supporting an Informed Decision

Not everyone agrees with animal research. Many people have an ethical or scientific position against it (though we would question the latter), and although they have the right to disagree we believe they should do so on an informed basis. That is one of the great merits of debating – it allows (if implemented properly) individuals to listen to both sides and make a choice for themselves. This is why we are very supportive of a new initiative by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) UK, and Understanding Animal Research (UAR) to organise a series of debates across the UK and beyond during this week.

big animal research debate logo smallThe Big Animal Research Debate has organised over 30 university debating societies to hold a debate on the motion “This House Would Ban All Forms of Animal Research”. All of these debates will take place between the 14 and 18 October with many schools also joining in. Most are being held in the UK, though Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) and James Madison University (Virginia, USA) are notable additions.

The event has gained the endorsements of politicians, science societies and some organisations opposing animal research. However, not all have been so supportive, with some animal rights groups choosing to boycott the event. In essence, their own argument suffers when they are not prepared to put it forward. It is worth reading Alex Cavell, one of the main organisers, robust response  to those organisations.

Some of the events will be streamed live on the website (Monday’s UCL debate will be). Or you can get involved across Twitter via @animalarguments and #MakeUpYourMind.

Speaking of Research founder, Tom Holder, will be debating the issue at Imperial College London on Thursday against the former BUAV and PETA campaigner, Alistair Currie. Both sides will be supported by student speakers. We will no doubt report back on it.

Apparently there is still time for schools (inc. lesson plans) and universities to sign up to participate, so get involved if you can.

Keep an eye on the website to see when the results are updated daily.

Speaking of Research

One response to “The Big Animal Research Debate: Supporting an Informed Decision

  1. Eric Sandgren, UW-Madison

    What an outstanding way to demonstrate the logic on all sides of the issue in a single forum. I hope you will develop a “best practices” document from this series of exercises to guide the rest of us. Thanks for posting.