Workshop: Improving Openness in Animal Research in Germany

  • Date: Mar 21, 2019
  • Time: 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Location: MPI Plön
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: The European Animal Research Association (EARA) and the MPI for Evolutionary Biology

The European Animal Research Association (EARA) and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology invite you to discuss improving openness in animal research, in communications with the general public, political decision makers and opinion formers in Germany. Attendance at this workshop is free.

Openness in public debate on animal research is increasing in many European countries and research institutions. This is also true for Germany, where progress has also been made by the research community to engage in open discussions on animal research topics with the public, for example in the creation of the initiative Tierversuche-Verstehen and the publication of the White Paper by the Max Planck Society on its animal research.

However, there is still significant reluctance within many academic institutions, and amongst scientists, towards conducting a more open and consistent dialogue with the public. Many scientists are still afraid that speaking more openly about their research and their motivations will make them targets, while others lack the confidence to put the case for animal research to what they view as a sceptical public and a potentially hostile media.

This workshop is offered to members of the biomedical sector and is designed to support researchers and institutions that wish to be more open about the animal research they carry out. The focal theme of the workshop is to discuss why scientists, researchers, press officers and other stakeholders can and should talk about animal research; it is not a debate about the ethics of animal experimentation. The discussion is relevant for members of institutions that are involved in animal research - directly or indirectly - and are currently hesitant to speak out in the media or to participate in public engagement activities.

We hope that this and similar regional workshops will help to kick-start a cultural change and support research institutions within Germany to constructively handle this issue.


Thursday 21, March from 12:00 pm to 15:00 pm
Max-Planck- Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Lecture Hall, August Thienemann Str. 2 24306 Plön


Please register for the event here


Kirk Leech, Executive Director, European Animal Research Association
Kirk is Executive Director of EARA, a communications and advocacy organisation whose mission is to uphold the interests of biomedical research and healthcare development across Europe. Previously Kirk worked for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and Understanding Animal Research, the UK’s leading advocacy group on the use of animals in medical research.

Dr. Andreas Lengeling, Animal Research & Welfare Officer, Max-Planck-Society
Andreas studied Biology at the University of Bielefeld and is the new animal research and animal welfare officer of the Max-Planck Society. He is responsible for the implementation of the society’s recent white paper on animal research. His role involves the support of 30 Max Planck Institutes in all aspects of animal experimentation that carry out life sciences.

Dr. Miriam Liedvogel, Behavioural Geneticist and group leader at the MPI Plön
Miriam studied biology at Heidelberg, Berlin and Oxford University, before her PhD at Oldenburg University, after which she carried out postdoctoral projects in the UK and Sweden. Since 2015 she led the Max-Planck Research Group Behavioural Genomics at the MPI Evolutionary Biology in Plön. Her research combines behavioural experiments in the wild and in the lab with molecular genomics approaches, aiming to characterise the genetic architecture of bird migration.

Christine Pfeifle, Mouse Management, Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
Christine has worked in different fields in animal ecology and is currently the head of the mouse facility in Plön. She is responsible for mouse husbandry, with a strong focus on wild house mice, and for coordination between mouse, caretaker and scientist in all aspects of animal welfare. She is also involved in different aspects of communication with the public.

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