The Crick has won Understanding Animal Research (UAR)’s Openness in Animal Research Award for Media Engagement for our BBC radio broadcast from our animal research facility on the role of mice in cancer research.
Jan-Bas Prins, Director of the Biological Research Facility, and Deborah Caswell, postdoc in the Crick's Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability Laboratory, with the award.
The UAR Openness Awards recognise people and organisations that are working to demystify the use of animals in research and communicate the benefits in an informative and interesting way. The awards have been presented every year since 2014 and recognise communication of animal research within organisations, with the scientific community and with the public.
BBC Radio 5 Live broadcast a programme from the Crick’s animal research facility in November 2018, ‘What actually happens in an animal testing lab?’, highlighting the day-to-day animal research carried out at the Crick. The programme describes the full process of animal research, from our custom-built cages and projects to improve the welfare of mice, to their role in research and the eventual benefits to cancer patients.
The programme featured group leader Julian Downward and postdoc Deborah Caswell. Julian and Deborah work on the genetic origins of cancer and discussed the insights that work involving mice has added to their work and changing public perceptions to the use of animals in research. "It is critical that we as scientists explain how important our research is for improving the lives of millions of people living with cancer today," said Deborah. "I was honoured to be given the opportunity to speak about the animal research that goes on at the Crick, alongside Professor Julian Downward and some of my colleagues in the biological research facility.”
Jan-Bas Prins, Director of the Crick’s Biological Research Facility, said: ‘It’s great to have been acknowledged in this area and it shows the importance of speaking about animal research in an accessible and interesting way. We’ve received so much positive feedback about the broadcast, which indicates that we’re on the right track with the way that we communicate about the animal research at the Crick.”