This Mouse Exchange was held at Eureka Children’s Museum, Halifax, as part of their Adults Only Lates. This Exchange was organised and co-hosted by Annegret Maja Fiedler as part of their Science Communication Masters final project.
This was the first time the Mouse Exchange had been run exclusively with adults, in the evening, and with alcohol available on the premises. This lead to slower, deeper conversations that turned more philosophical and personal.
At a Mouse Exchange anyone is free to join in and often wander over to see what is going on and end up staying and making a mouse. Eureka was the first time someone rejected an invitation to join in. This made us question if adults hesitancy had been overcome but the curiosity of their children.
One participant explained how they previously demonstrated against Hunting Life Sciences and had we had a sign up that said “come and talk to us about animal research” they would not have approached. They said “I just couldn’t face sitting at a table and disagreeing with everyone”. However, the crafting and curiosity driven approach of the Mouse Exchange allowed for discussion to happen without judgement and the sewing acted as a therapeutic aid.
One participant shared that they had experienced breast cancer and that their treatment had almost certainly been tested on a mouse. As such they didn’t think they had the right to object to animal research. As a table we discussed how the public encounter animal research and who gets to have a say in how it is conducted.
Makers also asked what a colony is, is it the same thing in every laboratory or outside of the laboratory. Claire and Nadine explained that they had made EURKNS and EUKCG as mirror images of each other, they placed these mice in the same colony compartment and said “they would always have each other”. To honour that care EURKNS and EUKCG are always stored this way.