• Question: do you hurt animals when working? Are you married? Do you give money to charity?

    Asked by gurtrude88 to Cathal, Daphne, Darren, Jon, Katherine on 12 Mar 2012. This question was also asked by gina08, bieberrocksduh, ilovescience2991, orangesandpeaches.
    • Photo: Daphne Ng

      Daphne Ng answered on 10 Mar 2012:

      3 questions in 1! Let’s start with the first.

      1. No, I don’t work with animals in my lab. So I don’t hurt them. Besides, I have quite a soft spot for them and can’t imagine doing nasty things to them.

      2. No, I’m not married.

      3. In Singapore, we have events known as flag days. During flag days, students around your age will go around Singapore with ollecting tins to collect donations from people in the street. In exchange, donors will be given a sticker, also known as a “flag”. The donations can be of any amount. Sometimes, when I see them, I make a donation. When I was a student, I also did a couple of flag days.

    • Photo: Katherine Haxton

      Katherine Haxton answered on 10 Mar 2012:

      1. No I don’t work with animals at the moment but I used to work in a lab that sometimes had to do some work on animals although I didn’t have to do those tests. This was to test new treatments for people and to make sure they were safe to test further. You have to do those studies according to rules to make sure the animals don’t suffer, and that the work has to be really worth doing. I wish we didn’t have to do animal testing, but for new medicines there are very few alternatives.

      2. I’m engaged and plan to get married early next year.

      3. Sometimes. Not as much as I should do, but its hard to decide which charities to support.

    • Photo: Darren Logan

      Darren Logan answered on 10 Mar 2012:

      1. I do work with animals. Mainly mice at the moment, but I have worked with fish, worms, rats and snakes in the past. The purpose of working with them is definately not to “hurt” them. I study their natural behaviour, so it is very important that they are not stressed or hurt during our work, because if they are they will not behave naturally and our observations will be useless. However, when we are finished studying the mice, the law says we have to kill them – we are not allowed to let them go or use them for any other purpose. That is the sad part of my job, but we use methods that are quick and painless which is the best we can do for them.

      2. Yes, I’m married to another scientist.

      3. Yes, occasionally. My wife and I run races quite a lot, so we often try to do it to raise money for a charity and will sponsor each other. My favorite charity is Medical Detection Dogs (http://medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk/) who train dogs to sniff out diseases. They do great work and the dogs are truely amazing in what they can do.

    • Photo: Jon Benton

      Jon Benton answered on 11 Mar 2012:

      1. I don’t work with any animals in my lab so I don’t hurt them. Actually in my building we have a stray cat that is spoilt more than any house cat I think.

      2. I’m not married.

      3. I try to as much as I can and last year I did a charity run for the stroke association which is something I feel close and think it’s important you find something you believe in as that way you’ll be more willing to engage in it!

    • Photo: Cathal Breen

      Cathal Breen answered on 12 Mar 2012:

      1) I don’t work with animals.
      2) I am getting married in July this year so I am very excited.
      3) I regularly raise money for the following charities, MENCAP and Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).