Ongoing | October 2021 - November 2022

Introducing the 3Rs to young minds

Goal: Changing Mindsets
Mandate: Education, Communication

Background

The co-occurence of the initiative on the ban of animal and human experimentation and the launch of the NRP79 on 3Rs, calls for a major dissemination effort targeting scientists and the public in order to increase awareness on the current status of 3Rs in Switzerland and around the globe.

Frontiers is a Swiss based scientific publisher that publishes open access articles with a constructive peer-review system. Frontiers has developped a journal series Frontiers Young Minds, that involves young kids as reviewers of lay articles for an easier access to science for a non-expert audience.

Aim

The Swiss 3RCC and Dr. David Pamies (University of Lausanne) have initiated a collaboration with Frontiers to launch a Frontiers Young Minds edition on 3Rs. The aim of the Frontiers Young Mind project is to provide the society three lay articles on 3Rs, all contributed by lead authors in the field: Thomas Hartung (CAAT); Jordi Lopez-Poveda (Kings College London); and Paulin Jirkof (University of Z├╝rich). Each manuscript would be reviewed by a 12 years old classroom from the International School of Lausanne (ISL).

To prepare the teachers of the ISL to such an event, an on-line teacher's training event was organized together with the European Commission and the European SchoolNet on the 9th of March. After the teachers' training event, students from ISL were invited at the University of Lausanne to attend lectures from the three authors, as well as a workshop, that would prepare them to review the contributions from the authors.

The 3 produced articles would then be released during a dissemination campaign during the 3Rs day conference held on the 7th of October in Bern.

Output

To introduce this new topic to the pupils, the teachers would follow an online teachers training organised together with the JRC and EU SchoolNet, available in English on our website. The classes would then follow a live lecture on their respective topic at the University of Lausanne, where the whole educational event would be filmed. Students had parallel workshops to understand research using animal models and alternatives, and how to handle mice and rats gently using stuffed animals.

The students could then ask questions to the speakers and the teachers to consolidate the ground knowledge that would allow them to review the manuscripts, as scientists would do. This was done at the ISL, where the 3RCC Scientific Officer Christopher R. Cederroth introduced the students to the concept of peer-review. The students were then able to provide constructive feedback to the authors, which ultimately lead to the publication of the 3 following open-access articles.

Hartung T (2022) Replacing Animal Testing: How and When?. Front. Young Minds. 10:959496.

Tremoleda J (2022) Reducing the Number of Research Animals: How Imaging Technologies Can Help. Front. Young Minds. 10:953662.

Jirkof P (2022) Refining Research to Improve the Lives of Laboratory Mice. Front. Young Minds. 10:954413.

Status updates

3 English articles were produced. Their translation in French, German and Italian has been completed and is now sent for production.

Project team

Christopher R. Cederroth (3RCC); Paulin Jirkof; David Pamies (UniL); Stephanie Claudinot (UniL/CHUV); Alexandre Widmer (EPFL).