Understanding the animal research nexus requires recognition of how the professional roles of laboratory staff are constituted, enacted and challenged. Project 4 investigates how professionals working in the laboratory, including veterinarians, are seen by wider publics and, conversely, how those who work in the lab construct images of the public.
Two primary programmes of work are planned. The first is to analyse results from a Mass Observation Archive commission to explore how ‘publics’ construct animal research, and to consider whether this method has potential for overcoming traditional methodological pitfalls. This will be explored via a PhD studentship awarded to Renelle McGlacken. The second is to use in-depth interviews and ethnographic observation to better understand the role of Named Veterinary Surgeons who work in the animal laboratory. This workstream is led by Dr Vanessa Ashall.
The overall aim of project 4 is to consider the extent to which changes in professional laboratory roles are challenging the stability of the animal research nexus, and to identify implications for the future of governance, training and public engagement. Project 4 is led Dr Pru Hobson-West at the University of Nottingham.