Speaking of Research (SR) is an international advocacy group that provides accurate information about the importance of animal research in the biomedical, behavioral, and life sciences.

Speaking of Research aims to challenge misrepresentations about animal research by participating in talks and debates on campuses across the country and by utilizing web-based communications tools to organize a network that can provide encouragement, information and support to all who care about scientific progress/advances that foster the health and wellbeing of humans, other animals and the environment. Speaking of Research is run by a committee of people who believe that animal research remains crucial to sustaining life and protecting the planet.

One of the core goals of Speaking of Research’s news blog is not only to share news and information about animal-based research, but also to provide a dynamic forum where individuals with varying perspectives can discuss issues related to animal research. Publicly accessible venues dedicated to this kind of discussion are few and far between. SR, along with many educators and research advocates, believe that this gap has been an impediment to improving public understanding of research with nonhuman animals. All SR posts reflect the views of the author, but not necessarily those of his or her institution.

Among its aims, SR reaches across geographic, institutional, and disciplinary boundaries to provide the research community with relevant news, shared ideas for outreach and education efforts, and discussion of recent findings from animal-based research.  At the same time, the blog serves as an accessible resource for students and other members of the public who are looking for accurate information about how animal research is conducted, how it is key to generating knowledge, which in turn contributes to scientific advances, and ultimately is essential to improving and sustaining the life and wellbeing of people, other animals, and the environment.

The Speaking of Research news blog is a relatively unique approach, particularly in the U.S., where up until now the majority of public outreach about animal research has been undertaken at the local level or by national advocacy organizations and scientific societies. These local and national programs are both important and effective avenues for reaching out to share information and education about animal research, yet they often cannot offer an accessible and dynamic forum where a wide-range of individuals can share ideas and engage in informed discussions. We hope that providing a forum for discussion and for sharing news ultimately serves to improve understanding of animal research, but also encourages members of the scientific community to contribute to and participate in outreach, education, and public engagement efforts.


Founded in 2008 by Tom Holder and inspired by the successful British student movement “Pro-test” (www.pro-test.org.uk), Speaking of Research (SR) aims to change the tide of anti-animal research rhetoric in the United States by encouraging students and scientists to speak up about the critical role of animal research in generating knowledge and in the prevention and treatment of diseases.

Read more about the History of Speaking of Research.

Pro-Test’s experiences have shown that an informed public will rally together against animal rights extremism and come out to support scientists in their use of animals in lifesaving biomedical research. Recent polls in the UK suggest that public support for animal research for medical purposes has reached nearly 90%. At the same time, groups opposed to animal research, so-called” animal rights” groups, have seen a decline in support, with a consequent decline in extremist actions against scientists and institutions that support animal research. Speaking of Research seeks to mobilize universities in the US to take the same stand against sustained campaigns of misinformation launched by groups fundamentally opposed to animal-based research. We aim to encourage students and scientists to raise their heads above the parapet in open support of scientists and their research.

Tom Holder speaks to students in Washington
Tom Holder, founder of SR, speaks to high school students in Washington.