First International Workshop
on the Applicability of Animal-Centered Research Principles to All Animal Research

Affiliated with Ninth International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction, ACI2022

University of Northumbria, Newcastle, United Kingdom

Workshop date: 5th December 2022,  09:00-15:30 GMT

Workshop format: HYBRID 

WORKSHOP ORGANIZERS

Clara Mancini

Professor of Animal-Computer Interaction

School of Computing and Communications

The Open University

United Kingdom

Eleonora Nannoni

Professor of Animal Science

Department of Veterinary Medical Science

University of Bologna

Italy

BACKGROUND

The principles of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement (3Rs) aim to address the ethical dilemmas arising from the involvement of animals in research procedures that can harm them and to which they are deemed unable to consent. Widely regarded as the gold standard for humane animal research, the 3Rs have yielded significant benefits for both the welfare of research animals and the quality of animal research. However, from an animal-centered perspective, the framework presents significant limitations. Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) researchers have argued that ACI’s animal-centered aims require an equally animal-centered research ethics framework and have proposed corresponding principles, namely Relevance, Impartiality, Welfare and Consent.

WORKSHOP AIM

The aim of this workshop is to explore the usefulness and applicability of Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) animal-centred research ethics beyond the field’s remit and develop an animal-centered approach to the use of animals in research more broadly. The workshop is targeted at researchers from different disciplines, experienced in conducting animal research from different perspectives (e.g., farming, medicine, conservation, welfare). The event will involve group work sessions during which participants will discuss diverse case studies, exploring the applicability of animal-centered ethics principles when designing research that involves animals, and plenary discussions during which participants will share challenges identified, collectively explore possible ways to address them in practice and produce policy suggestions to facilitate the implementation of scenario-specific trade-offs. The workshop will be run both in presence and virtually, to promote inclusion of participants from different geographic areas. 

PARTICIPANTS

Researchers and practitioners who have experience in research involving animals or work in related areas are encourage to participate in the workshop. This may include representatives from ethical bodies, advocacy groups and law specialists, as well as researchers and practitioners who work with animals in conservation, farming, welfare, medicine and other domains.

WORKSHOP ACTIVITIES

  • 09:00-09:30 GMT INTRODUCTION: Organizers propose a set of possible ethical principles to be discussed, adapted and used during subsequent group work. 

  • 09:30-09:45 GMT SCENARIOS: Participants are divided into groups to work on case studies covering a wide range of scenarios (different purposes of the research, animal species, types of procedure, degrees of suffering, etc.). 

  • 09:45-10:45 GMT GROUP WORK: Each group analyzes a case study following a given template and proposes an ethical framework for the specific scenario, adapting animal-centred principles to it. 

  • 10:45-11:00 GMT SHORT BREAK

  • 11:00-12:00 GMT PLENARY DISCUSSION: Groups report on their findings, sharing the challenges identified and exploring possible ways to address them within their proposed framework.

  • 12:00-12:30 GMT GROUP REFLECTION: In light of the plenary discussion, groups reconsider the applicability of animal-centered research principles to the different scenarios.

  • 12:30-14:00 GMT LONG BREAK

  • 14:00-14:30 GMT GROUP WORK: Scenarios are switched between groups to discuss possible generalisation of their proposed framework.

  • 14:30-15:15 GMT PLENARY DISCUSSION: Participants identify the main challenges to the applicability of different animal-centered research principles to different scenarios, possible practical solutions to address them and policy suggestions to facilitate the implementation of scenario-specific trade-offs.

  • 15:15-15:30 GMT CONCLUSION: Interested participants are invited to express their interest in becoming part of a working group to further develop an advanced ethical framework for animal research.

BEYOND THE WORKSHOP

This event is part of the longer-term Animal Centered Research Project, whose aim is to rearticulate the 3Rs framework integrating animal-centered principles. To this end, the workshop will help establish a working group to develop, with input from organizations and representatives who inform policies on the use of animals in research, a resource for researchers and practitioners whose work involves animals and for whom the application of animal-cantered technologies, methods or frameworks may be relevant.