This book features highlights from the Animal Research Nexus Programme to demonstrates how the humanities and social sciences can contribute to understanding what is created through animal procedures - including constitutional forms of research governance, different institutional cultures of care, the professional careers of scientists and veterinarians, collaborations with patients and publics, and research animals, specially bred for experiments or surplus to requirements.
Developing the idea of the animal research nexus, this book explores how connections and disconnections are made between these different elements, how these have reshaped each other historically, and how they configure the current practice and policy of UK animal research.
This book chapter is forthcoming in the book Multi-Species Dementia Studies: Towards an Interdisciplinary Approach, edited by Nick Jenkins, Anna Jack-Waugh, and Louise Ritchie, from Bristol University Press. The chapter brings work by Davies and Gorman’s on how patient representatives review research proposals that use animal models in dementia research with Richard Milne’s work on the emergence, development, and ‘calibration’ of animal models over the last 40 years of Alzheimer’s research. Bringing these projects together enables us to explore how multispecies relations are made in Alzheimer's research, and how people affected by dementia are placed in several ways through these processes, only some of which they are aware of and thus able to affect.
The paper builds on earlier an earlier blog by Ally Palmer called 'Can animals volunteer to participate in research?' We use the questions rasied by Ally to examine together the different ways that scientific researchers talk about animals' volunteering in research papers and reflect on the ethical importance of this discourse.
This article emerges out of the work of the The Swiss National Research Programme “Advancing 3R” (NRP 79). It features contributions from AnNex team member and NRP Steering Committee member Professor Gail Davies. The paper embodies and develops many of the aspirations of the AnNex programme in stating that: "Looking at the debate on advancing 3Rs from this angle, the humanities and social sciences are not the fifth wheel: they are as important as natural science and biomedicine in the project of advancing implementation of the 3Rs and developing the 3Rs themselves."
Beth and Emma contributed a short piece on how American political theorist Lauren Berlant's concept of 'cruel optimism' can be thought with in relation to animal research.
The concept of advocacy is of increasing importance to the veterinary profession internationally. However, there are concerns around the ambiguity and complexity of acting as an advocate in practice. This paper explores what ‘animal advocacy’ involves for veterinarians working in the domain of animal research, where they are responsible for advising on health and welfare.
This short report offers a review of some of the literature on reflexive practice in qualitative research teams. In bringing together some of the learnings and resources around team-based reflexivity, this report may offer a useful overview for planning and enacting future team-based research endeavours.
In the UK, claims are often made that public support for animal research is stronger when such use is categorised as for medical purposes. Drawing on a qualitative analysis of writing from the Mass Observation Project, a national writing project documenting everyday life in Britain, this paper suggests that the necessity of using animals for medical research is not a given but understood relationally through interactions with inherent vulnerability. This paper stresses the ubiquity of ambivalence towards uses of animals for medical research, complicating what is meant by claims that such use is ‘acceptable’, and suggests that science-society dialogues on animal research should accommodate different modes of thinking about health. In demonstrating how understandings of health are bound up with ethical obligations to care for both human and non-human others, this paper reinforces the importance of interspecies relations in health and illness and in the socio-ethical dimensions of biomedicine.
The veterinary profession has been relatively understudied in social science, though recent work has highlighted the geographic dimensions of veterinary expertise. This paper draws on in-depth qualitative interviews with Named Veterinary Surgeons (NVSs) working in UK animal research to demonstrate how and why they distinguish between ethical aspects of veterinary work in the spaces of the laboratory and general clinical practice.