science education

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On the Journey Toward Humane Education in Brazil: First Request for a Total Ban of Harmful Animal Use in Professional and Higher Education

Róber Bachinski, Gutemberg Alves, Mariângela Freitas de Almeida Souza, Vanessa Carli Bones, Rita de Cassia Maria Garcia, Rosangela Gebara, Valeska Regina Reque Ruiz, Luciano da Silva Alonso, Thales Tréz, Simone Tostes Oliveira, Alexandro Aluisio Rocha, Rita Leal Paixão, Roseli Pizzigatti Klein, Débora Gasparetto, Nick Jukes and Júlia Maria Matera

The Brazilian Network for Humane Education (RedEH) is an independent and self-managed group comprised of academics from ten different Brazilian states and a number of international collaborators. In 2016, in a concerted effort to change the educational field in Brazil and propagate humane education, RedEH sent a request to the Brazilian National Council for the Control of Animal Experimentation (CONCEA), asking that harmful animal use in education in professional and undergraduate courses be banned. This was the first formal request for a total replacement of harmful animal use in education in Brazil, and represented a major historic landmark in the advancement of Brazilian science education. This paper presents the full text of the request, as well as outlining its national and international repercussions. The request was supported by InterNICHE and representatives of 18 other international organisations. A major national impact of the request was its recognition by the Federal Council of Veterinary Medicine. With this action, academics and researchers took a potentially revolutionary step in the Brazilian education arena, with regard to advancing and supporting a higher quality, ethical and democratic educational system.
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Humane Education in Brazil: Organisation, Challenges and Opportunities

Róber Bachinski, Thales Tréz, Gutemberg G. Alves, Rita de C.M. Garcia, Simone T. Oliveira, Luciano da S. Alonso, Júlio X. Heck, Claudia M.C. Dias, João M. Costa Neto, Alexandro A. Rocha, Valeska R.R. Ruiz and Rita L. Paixão

Humane education and the debate on alternatives to harmful animal use for training is a relatively recent issue in Brazil. While animal use in secondary education has been illegal since the late 1970s, animal use in higher science education is widespread. However, alternatives to animal experiments in research and testing have recently received attention from the Government, especially after the first legislation on animal experiments was passed, in 2008. This article proposes that higher science education should be based on a critical and humane approach. It outlines the recent establishment of the Brazilian Network for Humane Education (RedEH), as a result of the project, Mapping Animal Use for Undergraduate Education in Brazil, which was recognised by the 2014 Lush Prize. The network aims to create a platform to promote change in science education in Brazil, starting by quantitatively and qualitatively understanding animal use, developing new approaches adapted to the current needs in Brazil and Latin America, and communicating these initiatives nationally. This paper explores the trajectory of alternatives and replacement methods to harmful animal use in training and education, as well as the status of humane education in Brazil, from the point of view of educators and researchers engaged with the network.
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A Survey of Knowledge of the Three Rs Concept Among Lecturers and Postgraduate Students in Brazil

Thales de A. e Tréz

The use of animals in science is a widespread practice, despite growing concern about its moral justification and scientific relevance. In this scenario, the Three Rs concept might be considered to be a motivation for the establishment of a new scientific approach to the use of experimental animals and to research itself. The main objective of this survey-based study was to identify the level of knowledge about this concept among lecturers (i.e. tenure-track professors) and postgraduate students in the physiological and pharmaceutical sciences in Brazilian universities. A questionnaire was completed by 185 lecturers from 16 universities, and 140 postgraduate students from five of these universities. The results indicate that the concept of the Three Rs is widespread among lecturers and students in the areas of physiology and pharmacology, throughout Brazilian universities, but that its interpretation generally attributes more importance to refinement than to reduction and replacement.

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