In keeping with our goal to give our Sixth Form students as many opportunities as possible to develop their curiosity and skill set beyond the curriculum, a group of 20 students from both L6 and U6 visited the laboratories of Professor Clive Page at King’s College London just before half term to examine his use of animals in experiments related to pulmonary disease. The students had the opportunity to view the laboratories, discuss the work of specialist scientists based there and also analyse the conditions and regulatory processes surrounding the use of animals in this type of research. All the students found this a unique and stimulating experience, evidenced by a quote from Franziska Beck in the L6:
The trip to King’s college was both educational and eye-opening. I think there is often a misconception of animal testing, that it is random and unsanitary, yet this trip revealed the excessive and thorough protocols, licences etc. which scientists who are testing on animals have to go through before experimentation. Before a scientist can test on animals, they must fully consider and analyse whether the benefit this test will have on science outweighs the harm done to the animals. The cost involved is also huge.
A phrase, said by a woman who worked in the animal testing unit, has stuck with me: “respect for the animals and their contribution to science”.
This is a highly controversial topic and it is important that our students develop informed and balanced views