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The big report launch! May 27, 2005

Posted by ayasawada in Uncategorized.
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On Wednesday morning our months of work finally came to an end. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is proud to launch it’s latest report on The ethics of research involving animals. This is what I’ve been working on until all hours of the morning! You’ll understand, because of the sensitive nature of the topic, I haven’t exactly been trumpeting my work on it thus far. But now it’s out there for all to see.

In fact, it made a pretty big splash, featuring in several major newspapers, BBC News and BBC Radio. The report was universally welcomed by representatives of all views, both anti-vivisectionist and pro-research. And at a lecture I attended on Weds evening, I was startled by the sudden mention of our report and the praise that followed for the depth of our discussion and the achievement of producing a ‘consensus statement’, acknowledging that there were many things the Working Party couldn’t agree upon, but there were many things that they could. To bring productive debate and calm compromise to such a polarised debate was truly a big achievement and I congratulate the Working Party for doing so.

It’s worth pointing out that the report does not plump for one conclusion: it does not say that animal research is good or that it is bad. The aim of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics is to look at the issue from all viewpoints and present a balanced account of the debate, such that people can make up their own minds. It does make some practical recommendations, but what we hope is that this report be used as a reference tool for future debate. And, as I said before, it shows what can be achieved in compromise and positive diffused deliberation. I have great hopes that this will become one of the most definitive and influential reports on the topic and I am immensely proud to have worked on it.

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