The Wellcome Trust is committed to being open about what we do and we think it is important to involve the public in debates around potentially difficult issues. Nancy Lee, Senior Policy Advisor at the Wellcome Trust explains why we signed a “declaration of openness” on animal research and the importance of public trust.
At a meeting recently, one of our clinical scientists described how she had given a talk to prospective medical students about her research. They expressed surprise that medical research involved the use of animals. How, she wondered, did they think new drugs were developed?
There is a lot of misunderstanding and, for want of a better word, ignorance, about how and why animals are used in research. At a series of recent focus groups, for example, participants believed that cosmetics were still tested on animals. In fact, this practice has not been allowed in the UK…
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