In 2014 the Babraham Institute ran a public dialogue project designed to discuss the importance of fundamental biological research and its impact on society. The workshops were designed to summarise key research projects and areas of new and developing science. Facilitated discussions enabled Babraham Institute researchers to help the public to understand some of the more complex issues and provided them with the opportunity to listen to the public’s views about their research and future plans.
The discussions covered key issues such as UK research funding allocation, how animals are used in the Institute’s research programme, which stages of a research project would be of most interest to a lay audience and how the Institute engages with the public.
The views reported confirm the Institute’s belief that fundamental research is of utmost importance to society. Fundamental research brings benefits to society because of its role in generating knowledge and, in the long term, preventing disease.
In a section on animal research, participants welcomed the Institute’s commitment to openness and transparency in this regard. It was reported that participants felt that animal research was necessary to advance science and was acceptable when, as at the Institute, it is carried out ethically and when well regulated.
Further information can be found in this news article, and the following downloads are available:
The project was co-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Sciencewise. The workshops were run with assistance from dialogue specialists Ipsos MORI