Understanding Animal Research’s third Openness Awards and the 80th Stephen Paget memorial lecture took place on Monday, 5 December at the Royal College of Physicians in London.
Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute was among the four institutions and the individual celebrated for having helped further the way in which animal research is communicated in the United Kingdom.
The judging committee selected examples of best practice that they felt were appropriate to a range of audiences, and which had a component that was original or truly leading in terms of institutional practice.
The Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute took The Public Engagement Activity Award for their museum event engaging public audiences with cancer research. The judges concluded: "The event was hands-on and interactive, with a public audience that was not selected or pre-arranged. The extent of planning and consideration that the initiative must have involved was particularly impressive."
Institute Director Professor Richard Marais said, “I am delighted by this award and very proud of the team who took part in this and also in other public engagement events. It has been a fantastic collaborative effort between PhD students, scientific staff and technical staff from our animal facility”. The awards saw the announcement of a new recognition process for individual champions of openness, based on internal awards to be held within signatory organisations. Winners of these organisational awards will be eligible for nomination to future Openness Awards in the Outstanding Individual category, and more information about how to develop awards for openness within organisations will be available to signatories in 2017.
After the awards, HM Government Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Sir Mark Walport gave the 80th Stephen Paget Memorial Lecture.
Sir Mark began his lecture, Animal Research – Then and Now, with an historic review of the emergence of legislation governing the use of animals in research and followed this with a challenge to the scientific community to provide a more thoroughly researched evidence base to support animal use.
While congratulating the excellent examples of Openness that had been awarded, he cautioned against dragooning unwilling scientists into communicating about their research.