[What can a chair on alternatives to animal experimentation effectuate?] [Article in German]

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Marcel Leist
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The DZ foundation has, together with the Thurgau Foundation for Arts and Science (CH) and the state Baden- Württemberg (D), made it possible for the University of Konstanz to establish an endowed chair for In vitro Alternative Methods. Such a step has never been taken before at a German university, and many may ask what the purpose is, and what this should lead to. The foundation document states: " ... the endowed chair will introduce the 3R principles of moderate and rational animal protection (reduce, replace, refine) into the academic curriculum and the profile of the University in practical and theoretical form". Furthermore, the goal is defined to develop and judge alternative methods to animal experiments in the domain of consumer- and health protection with the help of interdisciplinary research. Is therefore the purpose to establish 3R research in Germany - or make it socially acceptable? Of course, a "No" is the answer to the first part of the question, as 3R research is already successfully established and practiced at many universities and institutes. The second part of the question touches an interesting point. If one of the most highly-reputed faculties of the state creates a chair to this topic, then there is a clear signaling effect associated with it: in Konstanz 3R research is not seen as a haphazard spin-off, a compulsory exercise during the animal experimentation course, or a recycled use of an old cell culture system, but it is rather seen as an independent subject with high self-esteem and a function in creating a broad awareness.

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Leist, M. (2006) “[What can a chair on alternatives to animal experimentation effectuate?] [Article in German]”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 23(3), pp. 211–213. Available at: https://altex.org/index.php/altex/article/view/820 (Accessed: 18 July 2024).
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