University nominated for animal research openness award

The University of Bath was nominated for the ‘Media Engagement’ award at the recent Understanding Animal Research (UAR) Openness Awards.

The annual awards recognise best practice in openness around animal research from signatories of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research.

The University was nominated for its media work around a discovery by Dr Tony Perry and his team in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry. They were able, for the first time, to fertilise a non-egg cell from a mouse with sperm, resulting in live, healthy offspring.

The story was the focus of major international media attention. Working with the University press office Dr Perry and colleagues held a press conference at the Science Media Centre in London, and then participated in numerous radio, TV and print media interviews over several days.

TV cameras were also permitted into the University’s animal research facility and Dr Perry’s labs to film where and how the work took place.

Dr Perry said: “We wanted to communicate our ground-breaking research to the public and knew it was really important to be clear the research took place in mice. This not only gave people an accurate picture of the story, but let them know animal research was necessary for this type of science.

“It’s great to have been nominated for the award and see Bath demonstrating commitment to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research.”

Dr Sarah Bailey, Chair of the Animal Users Forum at the University, said:  “This nomination highlights the advances we are making in being more open with the public. As an organisation, it is important that the public can see how and why the humane use of animals in our research is necessary and how the University upholds the highest standards of animal welfare.”

The winner of the category was King’s College London for their part in a BBC Three documentary on the use of primates in research. King’s allowed the production team full access to their marmoset research facility.

Find out more about animal research at the University of Bath here.

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