Animals in Science Policy Institute

Animals in Science Policy Institute - homepage

Great news to launch the holidays and new year!

We have an important development to report concerning animals used in scientific research, testing and education in Canada. At long last, Canada has an independent body to advocate for these animals. Last week marked the launch of the Animals in Science Policy Institute based in Vancouver, under the direction of Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy. (Our readers may remember Dr.Ormandy as a recent participant in our Hidden Costs/ Hidden Potential poster campaign. She was also a speaker at the 2014 Queen’s conference on “Thinking Outside the Cage: Towards a Non-Speciesist Paradigm for Scientific Research”. The conference report is available here.)

AiSPI envisions “a society where the public ethic, and technological advancements and global communication strategies in the scientific community have made the use of nonhuman animals in science obsolete“. The Institute’s mandate is to:

  • conduct research projects into the efficacy of non-animal alternatives
  • provide up to date resources and information about non-animal alternatives
  • collaborate with stakeholders in science and policy
  • liaise with researchers, governing bodies and other decision-makers about the importance of non-animal alternatives
  • encourage transparency and meaningful public engagement about the use of animals in research, testing and teaching in Canada

Check out AiSPI’s informative and up-to-date website. And read about their recently completed project on “Non-animal alternatives in UBC undergraduate teaching“, and their current project on “High School Dissection“.

Bravo to our Vancouver colleagues!

Panel Discussion: “The Place of Animals in Science”

The Place of Animals in Science poster

The reigning paradigm of science education views animals as objects to be manipulated, analyzed and experimented upon. Evidence suggests that this paradigm alienates some students, and excludes alternative perspectives on human-animal relations. This work- shop will explore these hidden costs of the current paradigm, and will examine options for a more humane and inclusive science education. A hands-on demonstration of hu- mane alternatives such as virtual dissection software will be provided.

When: Wednesday, April 22 2015
Time: 6pm to 8:30pm
Where: Duncan McArthur Hall (Queen’s University), Room A343


  1. Jan Oakley, Faculty of Education and Women Studies, Lakehead University
  2. Teresa Lloro-Bidart, Science Education, California State University at Chico
  3. Olivier Berreville, International Network for Human Education

Teachers College Record on Education and Justice for Animals

In a recent issue of Teachers College Record, Nadine Dolby offers a commentary on the hidden curriculum of animals in education. This hidden curriculum robs children of their natural affinity for animals and replaces it with different messages: “animals are fundamentally different from humans; humans have dominion over animals; it is acceptable to use animals for human purposes (food, biomedical research, classroom pets, dissection, cosmetic testing); and it is justifiable to sort animals into different categories.”

Read the full commentary: “Flint’s story: Education and Justice for Animals“.