We start 2023 with good news: the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) has surpassed 40,000 followers on our social media. We would like to celebrate this milestone, first of all, by thanking all the people who follow our activities on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.
These people are mostly local (from Barcelona, Catalonia or Spain) but there are also people who follow what happens in the Park from places as disparate as Italy, USA or Mexico.
The importance of outreach
This 40,000 is not just a number to us. They are 40,000 people, students and professionals from different fields – science, medicine, education, etc. But also people from other fields who are interested in learning about the latest research being carried out in the park; to get closer to the people who work in it, to learn basic concepts about biomedicine; or to reflect on various aspects of the scientific life, such as diversity, innovation, scientific integrity, sustainability of research, or the mental health of scientists.
From the PRBB and its centers, we believe in the importance of scientific communication and outreach, of explaining what we do, why we do it and how we do it: of presenting the results obtained, with their strengths and weaknesses. And explaining also how these results help us progress in our knowledge of the basic functioning of the human being, and in our ability to take care of it. The importance of research, of the investment in science and of the collaboration of various actors has been more evident than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic. But the amount of misinformation and fake news has also shown that there is still a lot to do when it comes to communicating science, and that it must be done well.
The importance of transparency in animal testing
As a public organism, transparency is one of our core values; an obligation that we carry out with conviction and responsibility.
We believe that many of the issues we deal with in El·lipse are of special relevance; and there are others that are, in addition, of special sensitivity. The use of animals in research is one of them.
The PRBB is one of the signatory institutions of the Agreement on Transparency in Animal Experimentation, promoted in September 2016 by the Conference of Scientific Societies of Spain (COSCE) with the collaboration of EARA. As such, we want to be open about the use of animals in the research carried out at the park. We want to explain why this use is still essential today in some cases; to what extent it is controlled, what are the pros and cons, and what are the alternatives.
For this reason, whenever we talk about the results of research conducted in the park, we try to specify when animals have been used. Also, during the last Open Day, we held a workshop to present the animal facility and the experiments carried out in it; and we plan to do other activities on the subject for schools and institutes during the next year.
And so, recently, we have also organized at the PRBB a communication course on animal experimentation, aimed at all the staff working with model organisms as well as the communication departments. The course was given by the European Animal Research Association (EARA), and about fifty people participated. The objective was to understand the importance of this communication, to see examples of good practice and to try out how to communicate our science to the public.
We want to continue to open our research to society, and to do so in a way that helps to create the basis for a society that is informed, open, critical and moving forward together for the continuous improvement of our lives and that of the planet.
Again, we thank all of you who follow us in social media and help us by expanding our research and encouraging us to continue in this task. And if you are not following us on social media yet, we hope to see you around soon!