Engagement & Involvement

Understanding patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) with the practices of animal research

Public and Patient Interfaces with Animal Research

Biomedical research is increasingly expected to be open and transparent, to translate laboratory findings into new drugs and treatments for humans and animals, and to engage the publics and patients who stand to benefit from this research. These demands have led to rapid growth in new forms of public and patient engagement and involvement across health research and clinical delivery. These innovations are beginning to open up new interfaces with the practices of animal research. 

Animal facilities are opening their doors to host public tours and patient events. Patient groups are inviting animal researchers to provide updates at their meetings. Medical charities, who have close relationships with these scientists, are initiating discussions amongst their members about the use of animals. Public involvement practitioners are introducing conversations about animal research into activities that inform research priorities. Social media and short films are creating new spaces for public conversations between researchers and patients about the use of animals in their work.

At the University of Exeter, our work involves attending these events and talking to everyone involved to understand the range of opportunities, challenges, and questions these encounters create. We are using the idea of the animal research nexus to highlight the different expectations and experiences that organisers, researchers, and participants have of these events, and to work towards enhancing their value for everyone. We published an Interim Report from our research to share our findings with research participants in 2019 and are now developing these findings into presentations, academic articles and a final report for the wider stakeholder community.

If you have questions or suggestions about our research on public and patient interfaces with animal research, please feel free to contact Prof Gail Davies or Dr Rich Gorman.

If you are interested in the public engagement activities being run as part of the Animal Research Nexus project, please explore our work on Collaboration and Communication.
 

Relevant, tagged site content:

Publications

In this paper, forthcoming in Tecnoscienza, we investigate translation in biomedicine by exploring how researchers supported by the British Pharmacological Society’s Integrative Pharmacology Fund (IPF) have responded to increasing translational aspirations within pre-clinical animal research.

Part of the Animal Research Nexus programme involves exploring the changing relationships between people affected by different health conditions and animal research. This chapter explores how ‘patient voices’ are represented around animal research.

The issues of openness, transparency and public engagement about animal research have taken focus in several different countries in recent years. This open access paper gives an account of a two-day-long, international expert forum on this topic.

This report discusses the different expectations people have of Patient and Public involvement and Engagement with animal research. We review the opportunities and challenges across perspectives. We also identify preliminary recommendations for enabling more meaningful involvement.

This report provides a record of the discussions at a workshop which brought together lay members from across the biomedical research sector to discuss the opportunities and challenges of shaping biomedical research.

This poster explains our research exploring how patients, publics, and practitioners might engage meaningfully around animal researc and identifying how people affected by health conditions might contribute to the research practices that potentially involve animal research.

Events

We are holding a workshop in April 2019 to bring together scientists and stakeholders to progress practices that will enable people to have more comfortable and productive conversations about animal research within the context of patient and publi

The workshop shall intoduce the Concordat on Openness in Animal Research, explaining its commitments, and the different exceptions around openness. 



Announcements

This special issue aims to bring together work in the social science and humanities on the regulatory themes associated with animal research and knowledge production resulting from it, including but not limited to professionalisation, transparency

Blog entry

We are delighted to feature this guest blog on mice models in animal research from Nicole C. Nelson.

Written by: Gail Davies

Numbers can be a contentious issue in animal research.

Written by: Sara Peres

Our approach to research emphasises cross-project collaborations and transdisciplinary thinking. But what does this mean, in practical terms, for the work that we do and for our participants?

Written by: Rich Gorman

Earlier this year, the MRC Brain Network Dynamic Unit invited lay members of local branches of Parkinson’s UK to visit the unit

Written by: Rich Gorman, Gail Davies

Animal research can be a controversial issue. It involves complex questions across science, health, animal welfare, and ethics and is the subject of ongoing social and scientific debate.

Written by: Rich Gorman

In July 2018 several members of the Animal Research Nexus team were invited to an exciting workshop at the University of Nottingham.

Written by: Rich Gorman, Bentley Crudgington, Gail Davies

The concept of openness is increasingly being used to drive change and shape debates around animal research. However, it is a complicated and nuanced concept, which can be both uniting and dividing in practice.

Project partners

The Medical Research Council’s Mary Lyon Centre (MLC) is located on the Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire.

The Medical Research Council Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford opened in April 2015.