Over time, the interpretation of science has occasionally been corrupted by vested interest groups, be they financially motivated or ego driven. Scientific consensus and widespread public beliefs usually catch up with the evidence, but this can take a very long time and often costs lives. The use of non-human animals in biomedical research and testing is a scientific endeavor and, as such, can and should be evaluated in light of the best science currently available. But facts that have been accepted in all areas of science are routinely ignored or called into question by well-funded, vested interest groups, compromising the scientific integrity of biomedical research. History is replete with examples of practices deemed scientifically viable in one era, but later abandoned as more facts about the material universe were discovered. There are also many instances of practices being rejected by the scientific establishment, in spite of the fact that they were valid based on scientific criteria. In this chapter, we discuss why science is important in the context of animal modeling, how scientific positions are currently evaluated through the peer-review process, and how an evaluation of the science of animal modeling should be conducted now. We reach the conclusion that, in order to formally evaluate the scientific viability of animal modeling, a debate is urgently needed with experts in the relevant fields of science reviewing pro and con arguments written in position papers.
Greek, R., & Kramer, L. A. (2019). How to Evaluate the Science of Non-human Animal Use in Biomedical Research and Testing: A Proposed Format for Debate. In Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change (pp. 65-87). Brill.