Founder Biography

Biography: Tom Holder

Tom Holder graduated from Oxford University in 2007, with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. His time at university coincided with the escalation of violence and intimidation by animal rights extremists. Frustrated by the climate of fear descending on Oxford he became instrumental in the formation of the original Pro-Test committee in February 2006.

He was Head Steward and Emcee at the original Pro-Test march in February 2006, which attracted nearly 1,000 students, scientists and members of the public. Holder reprieved these roles at subsequent demonstrations in June 2006 and February 2008.

In March 2008 he moved to the US to take on animal rights groups by founding “Speaking of Research.” His project wass supported by both Pro-Test and Americans for Medical Progress, and aimed to mirror Pro-Test’s grass roots activities by generating student and faculty support around the US for scientists conducting animal research. During his time in the US he toured extensively giving talks and presentations across the country.

Tom returned to the UK in October 2008 and continued to lead the activities of Speaking of Research. As the organisation grew, Tom took on the role of Director – helping build the organisation over the next ten years. In April 2009, he became involved in Pro-Test for Science – helping them organize and carry out a rally in support of research – attracting around 700 people.

In June 2013, he helped Pro-Test Italia organise a demonstration in Milan, Italy; where they stood up to the rising tide of animal rights extremism across the country.

In August 2018, Tom stepped down as Director of Speaking of Research.

Tom Holder speaks at the Pro-Test for Science rally, 2009