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Animal research nexus: a new approach to the connections between science, health and animal welfare

Animal research nexus: a new approach to the connections between science, health and animal welfare
Animal research nexus: a new approach to the connections between science, health and animal welfare
Animals used in biological research and testing have become integrated into the trajectories of modern biomedicine, generating increased expectations for and connections between human and animal health. Animal research also remains controversial and its acceptability is contingent on a complex network of relations and assurances across science and society, which are both formally constituted through law and informal or assumed. In this paper, we propose these entanglements can be studied through an approach that understands animal research as a nexus spanning the domains of science, health, and animal welfare. We introduce this argument through, firstly, outlining some key challenges in UK debates around animal research, and secondly, reviewing the way nexus concepts have been used to connect issues in environmental research. Thirdly, we explore how existing social sciences and humanities scholarship on animal research tends to focus on different aspects of the connections between scientific research, human health, and animal welfare, which we suggest can be combined in a nexus approach. In the fourth section, we introduce our collaborative research on the animal research nexus, indicating how this approach can be used to study the history, governance, and changing sensibilities around UK laboratory animal research. We suggest the attention to complex connections in nexus approaches can be enriched through conversations with the social sciences and medical humanities in ways that deepen appreciation of the importance of path-dependency and contingency, inclusions and exclusion in governance, and the affective dimension to research. In concluding, we reflect on the value of nexus thinking for developing research that is interdisciplinary, interactive, and reflexive in understanding how accounts of the histories and current relations of animal research have significant implications for how scientific practices, policy debates, and broad social contracts around animal research are being remade today.
cultural history, medical ethics/bioethics, medical humanities, sociology, veterinarian
1468-215X
499-511
Davies, Gail
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Gorman, Richard
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Greenhough, Beth
95a602e8-dd79-4d62-b3d5-0075ae70398a
Hobson-West, Pru
ecda3d5a-f8fb-4376-80fc-c4827021ab45
Kirk, Robert
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Message, Reuben
2b2e2cd4-f095-4ecd-addb-ffcf07520ac9
Myelnikov, Dmitriy
4bc39b04-325d-4aeb-8784-283e203ad204
Palmer, Alexandra
b94df2bc-a687-4950-b843-8733a2e9bf8b
Roe, Emma
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Ashall, Vanessa
ef860a96-0d63-4644-bb38-03e68567f8af
Crudgington, Bentley
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McGlacken, Renelle
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Peres, Sara
d6b4ed3e-254d-4ff8-943b-4cc518caa20d
Skidmore, Tess
aeafd45a-62e9-4612-bb4a-1c91dc8549e0
Davies, Gail
4e85a643-c936-47e5-a45b-2999487d5ae4
Gorman, Richard
d83f8fc9-fe8e-44f0-af55-a1156af121e3
Greenhough, Beth
95a602e8-dd79-4d62-b3d5-0075ae70398a
Hobson-West, Pru
ecda3d5a-f8fb-4376-80fc-c4827021ab45
Kirk, Robert
122ff901-3dae-46b1-a69d-364bcd8f1f20
Message, Reuben
2b2e2cd4-f095-4ecd-addb-ffcf07520ac9
Myelnikov, Dmitriy
4bc39b04-325d-4aeb-8784-283e203ad204
Palmer, Alexandra
b94df2bc-a687-4950-b843-8733a2e9bf8b
Roe, Emma
f7579e4e-3721-4046-a2d4-d6395f61c675
Ashall, Vanessa
ef860a96-0d63-4644-bb38-03e68567f8af
Crudgington, Bentley
8379c7c0-3ed4-42c8-86f7-6653286b37a5
McGlacken, Renelle
d9dd492e-cb3b-4280-8678-08f1a810122c
Peres, Sara
d6b4ed3e-254d-4ff8-943b-4cc518caa20d
Skidmore, Tess
aeafd45a-62e9-4612-bb4a-1c91dc8549e0

Davies, Gail, Gorman, Richard, Greenhough, Beth, Hobson-West, Pru, Kirk, Robert, Message, Reuben, Myelnikov, Dmitriy, Palmer, Alexandra, Roe, Emma, Ashall, Vanessa, Crudgington, Bentley, McGlacken, Renelle, Peres, Sara and Skidmore, Tess (2020) Animal research nexus: a new approach to the connections between science, health and animal welfare. Medical Humanities, 46 (4), 499-511, [011778]. (doi:10.1136/medhum-2019-011778).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Animals used in biological research and testing have become integrated into the trajectories of modern biomedicine, generating increased expectations for and connections between human and animal health. Animal research also remains controversial and its acceptability is contingent on a complex network of relations and assurances across science and society, which are both formally constituted through law and informal or assumed. In this paper, we propose these entanglements can be studied through an approach that understands animal research as a nexus spanning the domains of science, health, and animal welfare. We introduce this argument through, firstly, outlining some key challenges in UK debates around animal research, and secondly, reviewing the way nexus concepts have been used to connect issues in environmental research. Thirdly, we explore how existing social sciences and humanities scholarship on animal research tends to focus on different aspects of the connections between scientific research, human health, and animal welfare, which we suggest can be combined in a nexus approach. In the fourth section, we introduce our collaborative research on the animal research nexus, indicating how this approach can be used to study the history, governance, and changing sensibilities around UK laboratory animal research. We suggest the attention to complex connections in nexus approaches can be enriched through conversations with the social sciences and medical humanities in ways that deepen appreciation of the importance of path-dependency and contingency, inclusions and exclusion in governance, and the affective dimension to research. In concluding, we reflect on the value of nexus thinking for developing research that is interdisciplinary, interactive, and reflexive in understanding how accounts of the histories and current relations of animal research have significant implications for how scientific practices, policy debates, and broad social contracts around animal research are being remade today.

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Accepted/In Press date: 14 January 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 February 2020
Keywords: cultural history, medical ethics/bioethics, medical humanities, sociology, veterinarian

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437238
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437238
ISSN: 1468-215X
PURE UUID: 1dba54e8-c80c-44b6-a186-94b632dbdbc2
ORCID for Emma Roe: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4674-2133
ORCID for Sara Peres: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9537-144X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Jan 2020 17:32
Last modified: 22 Nov 2021 03:17

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Contributors

Author: Gail Davies
Author: Richard Gorman
Author: Beth Greenhough
Author: Pru Hobson-West
Author: Robert Kirk
Author: Reuben Message
Author: Dmitriy Myelnikov
Author: Alexandra Palmer
Author: Emma Roe ORCID iD
Author: Vanessa Ashall
Author: Bentley Crudgington
Author: Renelle McGlacken
Author: Sara Peres ORCID iD
Author: Tess Skidmore

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