RESEARCH CONDITIONS. A new version of djurforsok.info was recently launched. The site is a collaboration between the Swedish Research Council and eight higher education institutions, including the University of Gothenburg. It is only available in Swedish, and aimed at anyone who wants to gain a basic understanding of how animals are used in research in Sweden.
Lars Ewaldsson is a university veterinarian and GU representative on the board for djurforsok.info. He believes that the site is a good way to help researchers explain their work to others who are unfamiliar with animal experimentation.
“The website contains information on when it is considered acceptable to use animals in research. Animal experimentation is not a given, and researchers must independently think through the methods and ethics of their project,” Lars says.
He also emphasizes the importance of the University of Gothenburg’s collaboration with other Swedish higher education institutions; animal experimentation is a complex issue that requires clarity and a shared responsibility.
Teachers and young people are one target group
The main visitors to the site are teachers and school students. The site provides information about what animal experimentation involves, how and why it takes place, rules and legislation, and a comprehensive section on ethics. Several exercises and activities are available for schools, as well as support materials for teachers.
Madeleine Durbeej-Hjalt, Secretary General for Medicine and Health at the Swedish Research Council, is responsible for the site’s content.
“Research on animals elicits mixed feelings, and questions about animal experimentation are complex. Those who work with animal experimentation and research questions also have the important task of providing information about animal research, the laws, rules, and ethics,” she explains.
Several user interviews were conducted before the site was re-launched to develop a website where functionality is based on user needs.
The Swedish Research Council is responsible for the website’s content, maintenance, and editor and covers one-third of the costs for running the site. The remaining costs are shared between the eight higher education institutions.
Email suggestions, questions, and feedback about the site’s content to email@example.com
BY: CHARBEL SADER & THE SWEDISH RESEARCH COUNCIL