Are you Speaking of (Animal) Research?

July 19, 2022

Speaking of Research, founded in 2008, encourages everyone to play a role in communication, dialogue, and education about animal research. For some, public outreach and advocacy are a natural extension of their work. For others, time and energy can be a barrier. The questions might be:  

  • Where do I start?   
  • Are there materials available to help?
  • How do I reach out to people who are interested?
  • My institution/employer is reluctant to speak out, how do I encourage them to do so?

Recognizing that time and energy can be barriers for those with other full-time jobs, Speaking of Research has a long history and trove of resources to help. 

Helpful resources

Reading list 

Are you wondering about some of the main themes that come up in outreach, education, and dialogue about animal research?  There are several core and evergreen themes worth knowing about whether you are new to speaking about animal research or are looking for a shortlist of reading to help others. Of the 500+ posts on the Speaking of Research site, we’ve selected a few that address some of the common topics, including the basic issues, ethics and philosophy, the role of basic science, debate tactics, misrepresentation, regulation, animal welfare, and others. See the list at the end of the post. 

What can you, your institution, or your scientific society do? 

Speaking of Research has many posts and resources to answer questions, encourage outreach, and provide advice on launching (or refining) communication. On occasion we hear from people who want to engage in public outreach about animal research but encounter barriers at their institution or company. Speaking of Research believes that institutions, organizations, and individuals involved in animal research and testing have obligations to support the research and public engagement. This graphic provides a simple illustration of our view of best practices and why they should be a common approach.

Here are a few of our recommendations. 

Media briefings and photos

Are you speaking with a journalist?  Need a concise backgrounder to provide to your communications office?  Speaking of Research has posted media briefings for the US, UK, Germany and Canada for many years. We update these annually with current statistics for each of the countries. The briefings are concise– 2 pages – and offer basic information about animal research. We encourage you to share these with your media, communications, or PR department and use them yourselves as a resource you can offer journalists and others who are interested. If your country isn’t included and you’d like to help us create one, please reach out to us. SR also provides photographs that you can share with others and use in your own presentations.

Model websites

Are you looking to improve your institution’s website? Or to create one? Since 2014, Speaking of Research has searched, found, analyzed, listed, and rated nearly 400 institutional websites using a rating system developed by SR’s founder, Tom Holder. Find models and advice here: Statements of animal research 

Talks about animal research 

Speaking of Research committee members regularly give talks about animal research to a variety of audiences. Find a few of those that are publicly posted here:

Worldwide animal numbers

For over a decade, Speaking of Research has tracked, analyzed, and posted publicly-available statistics on the number of animals in research and testing. Our worldwide animal numbers page is a popular resource. To our knowledge, it is the first and only source that collects and posts animal numbers reports from countries around the globe. Find those here: Animal research statistics 

Many hands, many voices

Speaking of Research believes that the community involved in animal research, public outreach, and advocacy should work together to maximize their reach and impact for common goals. We often feature the efforts of other organizations, individuals, and institutions and we appreciate those who help amplify and disseminate our work. We encourage you to go over, take a look, and make use of the resources offered by the many individuals and groups who are working hard on sharing news, views, and ideas about animal research. You can find those here:

Would you like to write a guest post or get involved?  

Over the years Speaking of Research has hosted many guest posts by writers ranging from scientists to public outreach directors, members of other advocacy organizations, veterinarians, university administrators, animal caretakers, and others. You can find those here.

Speaking of Research is a committee of volunteers donating their time and energy to run the website and blog, answer questions, talk to members of the media, help scientists and institutions under attack, and create materials anyone can use.  

If you’d like to join us, please reach out.  Learn more here:  Get Involved – Speaking of Research.

Reading list

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