A) Communication with and between Animals
Animal communication is primarily nonverbal. Interpreting animal needs and responding to them appropriately is crucial for ensuring their welfare. Animals perceive and interpret human verbal and non-verbal communication. Appropriate modulation of human non-verbal communication may positively affect human-animal interactions and contribute to refinement. Technological advances can help to improve our understanding of animal communication.
B) Communication and Culture of Care
Culture is a set of assumptions about right and wrong modes of action, that are conserved within a group and passed on to new group members. Laws and regulations tell us what we are allowed and not allowed to do regarding animals in our care. However, a culture of care reflects informal norms on how we should behave in relation with others for the benefit of their well-being and interest, whether they are animals or fellow human beings. The mode of actions of how we care can be modulated with the objective of refinement. Cultural signals provide information on the basic assumptions and core values within a social group and the workplace.
C) Education and Training: Communication towards the Future
Education and training rely on effective communication, particularly for the sharing of new approaches to improve the interaction between trainees and trainers. The dissemination of good practices, developing competence, and providing constructive feedback on learners’ progress is beneficial to all. Coupled with the ability also, to share information on train-the-trainer concepts, continuing professional development or life-long learning, and the virtual world of education practices is essential in implementing the latest advances in laboratory animal science.
D) Communicating between Peers, Authorities, and the Public
Communication comes from the Latin “communicare” which means actions to make a message understood among a diverse audience with different backgrounds and premises to perceive the message. Therefore, the message must be adapted to the target audience. Professional jargon between peers may not work with the public at large or colleagues not specialising in the field. To communicate about complex subjects may need simplification to make it understandable for others. The diverse platforms for communication make it more important than ever for scientists and experts to engage and share well-founded information. Open science acts as a buffer against “fake news” and conspiracy theories.
E) The Parallel Route
This option offers the opportunity to submit abstracts on topics that to the opinion of the author may not be covered by the four streams. These submission will be reviewed the same way as those submitted in the four streams.