4. An internal and external community outreach program
“Institutions using animals need to communicate effectively and on an ongoing basis with the internal and external community and the media. It is important to build these relationships over time and to keep individuals in all of these areas informed about the significance of the work in which animals are used, and the institution’s commitment to scientific standards through quality animal care and use. Being proactive by conveying significant advances in research using animals ethically and humanely can reduce the potential for negative public reactions in a crisis situation.”
>> More in the ARENA/OLAW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook Section B.6.a.
Institutional and public understanding of the value of scientific research is enhanced through openness and engagement. There are a variety of resources that can help institutions and investigators realize this goal, including:
- Institutions need to develop community outreach programs that reflect their unique location, research portfolio, relationship to stakeholders, etc. Many institutions have well-developed community outreach programs which may serve as models for institutions that share similar profiles and communication needs. Cooperation among institutions to share effective outreach tools and programs is highly encouraged.
- A variety of associations and societies provide public education materials, and an excellent list of these materials is maintained by the American Physiological Society (APS).
- Americans for Medical Progress (AMP)
provides a guide to communicating with the public about animals in biomedical research.
- Many of the National Primate Research Centers have developed strong public education resources, such as the Public Education page developed by the Tulane National Primate Research Center.
- The NIH OCPL produces a Clear Communication site that helps to promote the health literacy of the public.