We take the debate surrounding animal welfare and animal testing very seriously. No one at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in the Helmholtz Association treats the topic lightly. We are aware of the ethical debates surrounding the topic and regularly engage in public dialogues on the topic.
The MDC supports the Basel Declaration
All signatories of the Basel Declaration on animal research, which was passed in November 2010, have agreed to uphold ethical standards and promote greater transparency and communication on animal research. The MDC signed the Declaration in 2012.
Encouraging communication and information
The MDC has been a member of the European Animal Research Association (EARA) since 2014. This association is committed to better informing the public about humane animal research. Other members in Germany include the Max Planck Society.
Understanding animal experimentation
"Tierversuche verstehen" ("Understanding animal experimentation") is an initiative of the Alliance of Research Organizations in Germany. The aim of the project is to give scientists an opportunity to provide a factual basis for discussions on the need and use of animal experiments as well as possibilities for alternatives in research. The initiative is directed at the public and media, and its website offers a range of informational material, contacts to experts and opportunities for discussion. The MDC is a member of the Helmholtz Association, which is a partner in the Alliance of Research Organisations.
Long Night of the Sciences
The MDC participates in the Long Night of the Sciences (Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften) held in Berlin every spring. We offer guided tours as part of this event, and the Animal Facilities department of the MDC is represented with information stands. Interested members of the public can also attend lectures on the topic of animal research or take part in laboratory experiments themselves to find out more about the methods (including non-animal methods) we use at the MDC.
Reporting on research
We publish updates on the scientific work of our researchers on our MDC Insights page. To find articles on the topic of animal experiments, simply enter the search term “Animal research”.
Visitors can find a permanent exhibition on our research activities in the Hermann von Helmholtz building – the MDC’s administrative center. This exhibition includes comprehensive information on animal welfare in Germany in general, and on how we keep animals at the MDC.
Artist Boris Hars-Tschachotin designed his own laboratory space in a reinterpretation of the “Morris water maze” behavioral experiment, which uses mice for research on Alzheimer’s disease. The resulting installation piece “White Tub – Schwimmlabyrinth” combines a walk-in experiential space with an all-round video projection. This installation is also on display in the Hermann von Helmholtz building and can be visited upon request.