In This Issue

Update on CARE Activities

A renewed focus on spreading the word about animal research.

By Reggie Gazes, PhD

At the Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) meeting during the APA consolidated meeting in September 2016, the committee focused on issues related to educating students, the public and the APA membership about the contributions of animal research to psychology.

Pre-college/undergraduate educational initiatives

The contributions of animal research to psychology are often entirely left out or barely mentioned in introductory psychology texts and courses at the high school and college level. CARE meet with two relevant APA governance groups — the Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) and the Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education (CABE) — which both affirmed that the role of nonhuman animal research is not adequately covered in introductory psychology. They highlighted the challenges faced by teachers and professors wishing to supplement existing texts to include animal research in their courses, specifically lack of readily available supplemental information and lack of time to devote to finding these resources.

With these education committees, CARE discussed an initiative to develop an easily accessible set of supplementary materials that could be made available to psychology educators. Potential resources to be developed include summary information about specific relevant nonhuman animal research findings that can be used in teaching each of the major content areas covered in introductory courses, and videos or workshops to help educators integrate both historical and current nonhuman animal research findings into their lesson plans.

CARE plans to continue to work with TOPSS and CABE to develop these materials over the next few years.

Educational outreach

CARE is developing a video challenge based on the success of other similar challenges such as American Association for the Advancement of Science’s “Dance your PhD” competition. This challenge will ask postdocs, graduate or exceptional undergraduate students to create a video to inform the public and APA membership about an aspect of animal research in psychology. CARE members will review all submissions to ensure accuracy and will select qualifying videos. Members of CABE and TOPSS will serve as judges and rate the videos based on criteria identified by CARE.

Stay tuned for the competition announcement soon.