The 80's was a decade of remarkable and innovative research and development of alternatives. We see the 90’s as the decade of validation and implementation.
From an activist's perspective, the 80's was very encouraging,-- alternatives gained acceptance, legitimacy and credibility within the toxicology, corporate and regulatory communities. And The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at Johns Hopkins University played a significant role in making this acceptance possible.
But these new technologies have yet to realize their full potential; the focus to date has been on development more than on bringing these technologies into routine usage. And the public, including the more forward-looking sectors of the science community, is eager for results.
One way that activists in the 90's may promote alternatives is the development of a new "chic" in research, testing and education, in much the same way that anti-smoking groups have successfully turned around the image of smoking. With the support of pioneering groups, including the CAAT community, a trickle-down phenomenon can change the outlook and mind-set of future scientists. Starting with teenagers, we can turn around the tradition that sees animals as test tubes with whiskers towards the "chic" of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement as well as zero-based animal usage.
Spira, H. (1993). Alternatives in the 90's: what's next. In A.M. Goldberg (Ed.), Alternative Methods in Toxicology, Vol. 9, In vitro Toxicology: 10th Anniversary Symposium of CAAT. New York: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., pp. 141-150.