In 2014 the Babraham Institute ran a public dialogue project to discuss the importance of fundamental biological research and its impact on society. Workshops were designed to summarise key research projects and areas of new and developing science and enabled Institute researchers to discuss their research and provided them with the opportunity to listen to the public’s views. The discussions covered key issues such as UK research funding allocation, how animals are used in the Institute’s research programme, which stages of a research project would be of most interest to a lay audience and how the Institute engages with the public.
The views reported confirm the Institute’s belief that fundamental research is of utmost importance to society. Fundamental research brings benefits to society because of its role in generating knowledge and, in the long term, preventing disease.
In discussions on animal research, participants welcomed the Institute’s commitment to openness and transparency in this regard. It was reported that participants felt that animal research was necessary to advance science and was acceptable when, as at the Institute, it is carried out ethically and when well regulated.
Further information about the project can be found in this news article
and the report can be downloaded here
The project was co-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
(BBSRC) and Sciencewise
. The workshops were run with assistance from dialogue specialists Ipsos MORI