• Question: does your work harm animals?

    Asked by anon-201686 to Sophia, Sarah, Meirin, George, Emily, Andy on 13 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Andy Buckley

      Andy Buckley answered on 13 Mar 2019:

      No. We even have sheep grazing on top of the CERN accelerator complex! A pine marten bit into a high-voltage cable and both fried itself and knocked out the Large Hadron Collider once, but that was its choice 😉

    • Photo: Sophia Pells

      Sophia Pells answered on 13 Mar 2019:

      I don’t do any work with animals. We use 3D-printed models to test how well we can photograph different sources of radiation instead of using people or animals (there are even 3D printed mice!).

      It’s not something I work on myself but in order to use radioactive atoms to treat cancer, you need to attach them to a drug that is designed to stick to cancerous tumours. These drugs do have to be tested on animals before they can be used in people. There are loads of laws and regulations in place to make sure the animals are well looked after though. I think it’s sad that we do have to test on animals but I also think it is necessary if we are going to develop new treatments for diseases like cancer.

    • Photo: Sarah O'Sullivan

      Sarah O'Sullivan answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      Nope, unless they somehow get into my lab and experiment!

    • Photo: Meirin Oan Evans

      Meirin Oan Evans answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      Not at all. Apart from the poor pine marten (or weasel) that managed to get 100m underground to our huge particle physics machine and bite a cable https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36173247
      RIP 🙁
      In fact, some of my colleagues bring their dogs (and/or kids) to our building, which is fine as long as they don’t touch our experiments!