The Zurich-based association Forschung für Leben (Research for Life), conducted a Swiss national survey on the attitude of researchers in the life sciences on the 3R principles. Conducted in early 2016, the survey was completed by more than 500 individuals. While diverse opinions were expressed, some interesting finding and patterns emerged which directly relate the aims of the swiss 3RCC.
- In respondents over 40 years of age, only 10% indicated that the 3R principles were taught in their undergraduate courses. Optimistically however, in those under 30, 44% already knew about the 3Rs at this stage.
- With regards to both initial reduction of animals used in experimentation, and refinement of analysis techniques, only 26% of respondents indicated they often or always took advantage of a biostatistician in their department.
- While only a quarter of respondents indicated that they made use of pilot studies, 55% said that those results had led to major revisions of the main experiment.
- Only a fifth of participants were able to completely replace the use of animals using in vitro or alternative technology.
The survey presents an excellent snapshot of research attitudes and practices from early 2016; ones that hopefully have continued to improve, and others to be encouraged to move forward. The full results of the survey, with commentary, are available in German.