Inventory: The importance of animal testing and how it can be curtailed in basic neuroscience research.

The Academy is taking stock of innovative research methods and techniques that have the potential to serve as alternatives to methods involving animals in basic neuroscience research. It is doing so at the request of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (the policy area now falls within the remit of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality).

The Academy took the first step by establishing a committee under the chairpersonship of Prof. W.E. Bijker. The committee’s specific task was to examine the situation in basic neuroscience research in a pilot study. The Academy’s aim was to take stock of innovative research methods in this field that could, over the next ten years, replace the use of animals with non-animal systems, reduce the number of animals in a test, or refine the procedures to make them less stressful for the animals under study. These are methods and techniques that have emerged in recent years and that can, in some cases, serve as alternatives or supplements to animal testing.

The most important factor for the Academy is to ensure that researchers conducting basic neuroscience research in the Netherlands can continue answering important research questions about our brains so that the neurosciences can help to address the major challenges facing our society. A second important factor is to ensure that Dutch neuroscience research can maintain or even improve its reputation for quality at international level. The Bijker Committee’s foresight study will lay the foundations for the upcoming inventory.


The inventory is expected to be published in June 2019.