In 1959, William Russell and Rex Burch published the seminal book, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, which emphasized reduction, refinement, and replacement of animal use, principles which have since been referred to as the "3 Rs". These principles served as the cornerstone for current animal research guidelines, but questions remain about the adequacy of existing guidelines, implementation, and enforcement. Further, while the "3 Rs" capture crucially important concepts, they do not adequately reflect the substantial developments in new knowledge about the emotional and cognitive capabilities of animals or an updated understanding of harms associated with animal research.
In August 2010, the Georgetown University Kennedy Institute of Ethics, the Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, The George Washington University, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine jointly held a two day multi-disciplinary, international conference in Washington, DC, to address opportunities and challenges to implementing alternatives to animal research. This two-day symposium aimed to advance the study of the ethical and scientific issues surrounding the use of animals in testing and research, with particular emphasis on the adequacy of current protections and the promise and challenges of developing alternatives to the use of animals in basic research, pharmaceutical research and development, and regulatory toxicology.
This Collection combines papers that were written following this conference with an aim to highlight progress and research in this important area. Although the Collection only briefly touches on the myriad of ethical and scientific issues surrounding the use of animals in research, its aim is to spur ethical and scientific advancement.
Videos and other materials from the Animals, Research, and Alternatives: Measuring Progress 50 Years Later conference can be found at http://www.pcrm.org/ARAconferencevideos.
Collection citation: PLoS ONE: Animals, Research, and Alternatives: Measuring Progress 50 Years Later (2011) PLoS Collections: www.ploscollections.org/animalresearch
PLOS ONE: published 07 Sep 2011 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0024059
PLOS ONE: published 07 Sep 2011 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0021236
PLOS ONE: published 07 Sep 2011 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0021578
PLOS ONE: published 07 Sep 2011 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0024121
PLOS ONE: published 20 Jun 2011 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0020887
PLOS ONE: published 16 Jun 2011 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0019855
PLOS ONE: published 16 Jun 2011 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0020101
PLOS ONE: published 07 Jun 2011 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0017147
PLOS ONE: published 07 Jun 2011 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0018540