UBC Undergraduate Research

Public trust in animal research practices : effect of openness Kim, Young Wook 2014

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Public Trust in Animal Research Practices: Effect of Openness Young Wook Kim Supervisor: Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy animal welfare           program   Animal-based research often claims to be of benefit to society.  The public funds the majority of animal research  the “beneficiaries” of animal research.  Animal research at UBC   Introduction Objective: To assess whether the public is willing to support the use of animals in research under systems with different levels of openness:     1) Status quo (no sharing of information)    2) Some information    3) Detailed information with public feedback    4) Detailed information plus inspections      Participants will be more willing to support animal research under systems that have higher levels of openness, and that have opportunities for public feedback.  Prediction Methods  Online Survey  n=175 participants recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk  Contingency question design  4 streams - participants randomized to different starting questions  Response options: • Totally willing • Mostly willing • Mostly unwilling • Totally unwilling  Comments (qualitative data)  Status Quo Some Information  Detailed  Information Are you willing to support? No Stream 1 Detailed  Information  plus  Inspections Open  Ended  (Trust) START Are you willing to support? Are you willing to support? Are you willing to support? Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Quantatitve Results (Stream 1) Status Quo n (Totally Willing) = 10 n (Mostly Unwilling) = 25 n (Totally Unwilling) = 13 n (Mostly Willing) = 29 n (Participants in stream 1) = 77  Status Quo No = 38 Yes = 39 + Some Information Yes = 7 No = 31 Some Information + Detailed Information with public feedback No = 16 Yes = 15 Detailed Information + Detailed Information plus Inspections No  = 13 Yes = 3 Detailed Information plus Inspections Themes Examples   Main Themes Raised by Participants Animal Welfare/        “I feel that animal should not be used for testing. It is cruel and Ethical Issues          immoral.” Governance,                 “I think that animal research is necessary but should be strictly  Regulations,     monitored.” Monitoring Science/Technology          “There is no better way to advance science and medicine than Advance, Education            with experimentation.”  Benefits (for Humans)        “It is for something to help cure disease and overall benefit of       in “Utilitarian”                 human health.”       point of view            Values,                       “I feel like animal research can be carried out by other means.” Alternative Methods Accountability,                  “They should be held accountable and share their research Transparency,                   with the public.”       Trust Reasons to Support Reasons NOT to support Qualitative Results (Stream 1) - Benefits to humans   “Animal research is a  necessary evil, and it must be  done for the betterment of  mankind.” - Science/Technology advance   “I support animal research study  because it is a way to understand  and find cures to diseases that  are relevant in humans.”  - Private  “I think it’s best if the public just  doesn't know some of these  things.  if they did, there would  possibly be a lot of beneficial  products that never get made.” - Alternative methods  “I am against animal testing of  any kind. With today's technology,  I don't see how testing on animals  should be necessary.  - Lack of transparency  “I think more information should  be required.  - Ethical issues  “Animals should be respected not  violated.” - Monitoring  “If they would put cameras and  other recording devices that  could monitor what they are  doing to these animals, then  maybe I'd support it.”  The public’s trust, and the ability for public discussion about animal research are highly influenced by how open the research community is to the public.  This is mainly because people want to know whether animals are being treated in ethical and humane ways.    Take Home Messages  Thank You! 


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