Select Committee on Animals In Scientific Procedures Minutes of Evidence


(see Q.1219)


  Professor Patrick Bateson, now vice-president of the UK's Royal Society, proposed a unique model of the cost/benefit analysis for animal experiments. Bateson's "cube" model provides for the evaluation of proposed experiments according to three criteria: (1) quality of the research, (2) certainty of medical benefit, and (3) animal suffering.[3]


  Bateson proposed that if, upon consideration of the three criteria, a proposed experiment fell into the solid (shaded) part of the "cube", it should not be approved or performed.

  It is significant to note that of the 18 possible scenarios in the model, animal experiments would only be permitted in four. Likewise, Bateson's model would preclude animal experimentation where:

    —  animal suffering is high (irrespective of the quality of research or certainty of medical benefit);

    —  quality of research is low (irrespective of the certainty of medical benefit or degree of animal suffering);

    —  certainty of medical benefit is low and quality of research is only moderate (irrespective of the nature of animal use).


3   For further details, see "When to experiment on animals", Bateson P New Scientist 1986; 109: 30-32. Back

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