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15 - 05 - 2018

Institutional transparency improves perception of animal research

An opinion poll conducted by the University of British Columbia in Canada shows that institutional transparency improves public support for animal research and their perception of laboratory technicians.




The use of animals in research is subject to debate and controversy, often perceived as discrete, even secretive.


According to an increasingly popular opinion, including among the research community, more transparency from institutions improves the perception of animal research by the public.


Canadian researchers conducted an opinion survey to verify the reality of this opinion.


Five hundred and fifty people were randomly informed of one of six scenarios that described the same research in a high or low transparency environment performed using one of three animal types (mouse, dog, or cattle) .


Then these people gave open and Likert type responses (degree of agreement or disagreement with an affirmation) to questions about the technical staff (warmth, competence) and their support for the research presented.


A quantitative analysis showed that participants who had low transparency scenarios were perceived as less friendly and less supportive of the research regardless of the type of animal.




Low (dark blue) or high transparency (light blue) institution. Questions were asked on a 7 point Likert-type scale (1 = not at all; 4 = neutral, 7 = extremely). The box plots show the mean (central square), median (solid horizonal line in the middle of the box), 25th and 75th percentiles (the upper and lower limits of the box) and 10th and 90th percentiles (verticle lines extenting above and below the box). 




This study confirms that transparency in animal research improves public perception.