People – “Receptive, reflexive, resourceful – on a good day!”

© Gail Davies

Presenting members of the Steering committee: 3 Responses from Gail Davies, Professor in Human Geography, University of Exeter

1. Please describe yourself using 3 words that start with an R?

Receptive, reflexive, resourceful – on a good day!

2. What was your motivation to become an NRP 79 Steering Committee member?

The 3Rs principle emerged through interdisciplinary thinking and moved into research and policy through international exchange. This collaboration across disciplines and countries is vital today if we are to continue to advance the 3Rs. I was delighted to be asked to join the NRP 79 Steering Committee to contribute to these conversations, to share experiences of researching the policy and practices of animal research in the UK, and to learn from the process and outcomes of this new research programme. I enjoy collaborating. As someone trained in human geography, I am also interested in how place continues to be important within international communities of science and in learning how the 3Rs is embedded within the distinctive legal and governance frameworks in Switzerland.

3. What are the biggest differences that you see between the 3R-community in Switzerland compared to the 3R-community in the UK?

The UK has a strong tradition of scientific research on the 3Rs and a growing body of innovative work in the social sciences and humanities on laboratory animal science and welfare. I’ve enjoyed my engagement with both these strands and learnt a lot from them, but they can feel quite separate at times. There is no obvious institutional meeting place for conversations between them, though this is something we sought to foster with our work on the Animal Research Nexus Programme. I’m looking forward to seeing how the NRP 79 can help integrate science and social science on the 3Rs in Switzerland from the start through its emphasis on understanding innovation and implementation throughout, as well as its strand on society and ethics.

Main fields of expertise:

  • Human geography
  • Science and technology studies
  • Animal studies
  • Responsible research
  • Decision-support technologies (e.g. Harm benefit analysis)