Biomedical knowledge is substantially based on the results of animal experiments. Accordingly, the on-going development and consistent implementation of the three R principle (Replace, Reduce, Refine, 3Rs) is an integral task of academic biomedical research. To promote 3R research, 3R methods must find acceptance in science itself. In public, animal experiments are critically debated, and the challenges of alternative methods are often underestimated. The goal of the Einstein Center 3R (EC3R) is thus to promote the trustworthiness in 3R academic research in science and the public. As a strong biomedical research location with its proximity to key stakeholders, Berlin offers ideal conditions for comprehensively pursuing the objective of implementing the 3Rs. The Berlin state government declared the objective to announce Berlin as the “capital of alternative methods”. Thus, the development of alternative methods is also strongly supported by Berlin politics.
Academic biomedical science in Berlin is a focal point of animal-based research in Germany. According to the current state of science, animal experiments will be necessary in general and thus also in Berlin in the foreseeable future. Overarching aim of animal experiments is the transfer of the results to gain knowledge about the target species, in most cases: about humans. Consequently, the qualification of methods and the comparison of data generated by testing in human cell-based models, animals and human in vivo are essential steps towards the transferability of results.
For this reason, it is essential that science in Berlin works energetically, verifiably and visibly to improve unavoidable animal experiments and to develop robust alternative methods that can be applied by a wide range of users to create trust in the related scientific activities.