• Question: what's your opinion on doing experiments on animals?

    Asked by Ruby on 27 Nov 2023.
    • Photo: Malwina Niechcial-McKenna

      Malwina Niechcial-McKenna answered on 27 Nov 2023:

      I don’t agree with experiments on animals where they actually suffer by getting drugged or having things modified/being cut into in different ways. I always joke I’ll get myself a pet rat and construct mazes for it to learn to run through but that is as far as I would go with animal experiments.

    • Photo: Berengere Digard

      Berengere Digard answered on 27 Nov 2023:

      As a former student of biology, I can’t deny that right now, animal experiments are still essential for research. Sadly, we don’t have good alternative yet for most of the things we use animal models for, but things are changing! A lot of people are working on creating tools that will one day make animal experiments really rare! As things currently stand, using animals in research is actually very regulated. Researchers have to justify ever single thing that the animal will experience, even the cage where they live, and researchers also have to justify the number of animal they use: they are not allowed to get a single more than purely necessary.

      Still, with all that, I’m not keen on animal experiments, and that’s also partly why I left biology. I’m vegetarian, so of course I’d rather not hurt animals in my work!

    • Photo: removed scientist

      removed scientist answered on 28 Nov 2023:

      I think we have to be careful and make sure we are being ethical and do not cause any suffering. I don’t do any experiments on animals (unless you consider humans are animals :-))

    • Photo: David McGonigle

      David McGonigle answered on 30 Nov 2023:

      As a neuroscientist, I have been involved in animal experiments – my first paper was a study of a brain tract in rats to see if it was involved in epilepsy. Here in the UK we have probably the strictest laws in the world regarding animal ethics and their use; however, we’re still *using* them in experiments, and that’s a big problem for some people.

      It’s something I’m very conflicted about; even now when I do neuroimaging experiments in humans, I will – as will my colleagues – often rely upon results from animal experiments to make sense of the data. So even if one is not explicitly doing animal work – you can still be involved implicitly.

      I no longer do animal experiments, and I also no longer eat meat – so make of that what you will!

    • Photo: Emma Sullivan

      Emma Sullivan answered on 11 Dec 2023:

      I think that as long as the animals are treated with care and respect, it is fundamental to do animal research to learn about psychology.