- ABOUT AMP
- ANIMAL RESEARCH
- RAISING VOICES
Through the Michael D. Hayre Fellowship in Public Outreach, AMP is helping to develop independent outreach programs to raise awareness about the important role of animals in research.
In 2012, in recognition of the evolution of social media into a powerful tool for advocacy, Americans for Medical Progress awarded one of its AMP/Michael D. Hayre Fellowships in Public Outreach to a pioneer in this arena.
Gene Rukavina is a highly visible member of the biomedical research community. His expertise in training and his in-depth knowledge of social media makes him an excellent choice for the Fellowship. Gene is dedicated to developing a strong online community in support of animal-based research that offers targeted information and resources via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
Gene is the Training Coordinator for the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine at UCLA. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) and is the Board’s representative to the AALAS Global Partners Advisory Council. He also lends his skills to research advocacy as newsletter editor/webmaster for the Southern California Branch of AALAS, and serves as web and social media chair for the Laboratory Animal Welfare Training Exchange. Gene is a member of the Executive Committees of both Pro-Test for Science and Speaking of Research, the former of which he also serves as webmaster.
Speaking Honestly - Animal Research Education (SHARE)
It is important that the youth of our nation be well-informed since their opinions will influence future regulations and public policy that affect the continued use of animals in research. Many of the current outreach efforts in support of the humane use of animals in research attract populations that are already acquainted with or involved in animal research or individuals who are actively seeking out factual information. The aim of this project is to open the lines of communication with non-scientists and individuals whose only source of information is the often sensationalized campaigns and false claims prevalent in today’s media.
SHARE is a program designed to enable educators to facilitate classroom discussion on the humane use of animals in research in an engaging and interactive manner. Teachers will be provided with the necessary tools to discuss the subject using modern instructional approaches. This includes a lesson plan to facilitate an established classroom activity, video tutorials, data illustrating the efficacy of the method and additional supporting information. Importantly, rather than championing a specific viewpoint, students will be allowed to develop their own opinions based on factual information regarding both animal rights and animal welfare points of view.
The SHARE website hosts all the necessary tools to enable educators to discuss animal research using modern instructional approaches. This includes a lesson plan to facilitate a classroom activity, video tutorials, data illustrating the efficacy of the teaching method and additional supporting information.
Scott and Elizabeth have presented SHARE at various national scientific and education conferences and the program has been incorporated as a key component in the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science’s (AALAS) National Animal Research Education and Awareness (AREA) program.
Scott and Elizabeth continue to make strides in spreading the word about SHARE. Plans for 2013 include the publication of the SHARE method and accompanying educational data in a peer-reviewed science education journal and an interactive workshop to train individuals on how to implement SHARE in their own classrooms.
Thank a Mouse
The Thank a Mouse program encourages members of the veterinary profession to become ambassadors for the humane use of animals in biomedical research. Through ThankaMouse.org, veterinarians and their clients will have access to accurate information about the importance of animal research to animal health. Current research articles and news stories will keep people informed on the latest veterinary advances made possible by animal research and enable visitors to gain an appreciation for the essential role mice have played in the discovery of treatments benefitting both our pets and ourselves.
Pro-Test for Science is an organization composed of scientists, researchers, academics, students and members of the general public who encourage scientists and non-scientists to stand up and support the critical role that humane and well-regulated animal research plays in medical advances of the past, present and future.
Through the use of its website, speaking engagements and outreach events Pro-Test for Science is working to:
- Dispel myths and falsehoods propagated by animal rights groups regarding the true nature of animal research.
- Provide an academic forum in which civilized discussion surrounding the animal research issue can take place.
- Combat fear and support victims of violence, harassment and threats used by animal rights extremists to coerce researchers and institutions carrying out medical research with animals.
Speaking of Research (SR) is a campus-oriented group that seeks to provide university students and faculty with accurate information and resources about the importance of animal research in medical science. The group encourages students and scientists to speak up about the role of animal in research in order to inform public opinion. Speaking of Research was created in 2008 by Tom Holder, an Oxford graduate who had helped to start up the UK movement Pro-Test. In February, 2006, Pro-Test gained international recognition after organizing a pro-research rally which encouraged close to a thousand students and scientists to march through the streets of Oxford in support of biomedical research and the still-in-construction Oxford University Animal Facility. Speaking of Research has brought the Pro-Test movement to the United States in order to affect the same show of support of animal research as was accomplished in the UK.
To date, Speaking of Research has engaged in talks, debates and presentations across the US and beyond. It was heavily involved in the formation of UCLA Pro-Test (now Pro-Test for Science) which held a demonstration in Los Angeles attracting hundreds of supporters. Furthermore, its website provides up-to-date and comprehensive information on the role of animals in research, as well as the latest information on animal rights activism and animal rights extremism. Speaking of Research continues to expand its committee in order to create effective networks to counter misinformation by animal rights groups.
Speaking of Research continues to expand, with 130% growth in website traffic in 2012, making it one of the leading animal research information websites.