Should I take part in BARD if my society does not do debate? YES!

While with a name like the Big Animal Research Debate (BARD) you might think that we only want debating societies you would be wrong. We want all sorts of societies. Lots of people have an interest in open debates and discussions on animal testing. And so we are not just looking for debating societies to host debates but societies involved in medicine, those campaigning for animal welfare, and those who are just interested in the intellectual exercise – such as philosophy societies. We invite you all to take part.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t know debate. IDEA can help; we have been involved in many projects where ideas and methods of debating have been used in non-debating environments, and debating does not need to be intimidating. A debate just has five elements; a motion (ban all forms of animal research), two sides (for and against), who are making arguments against each other, in a rules based environment (no shouting the other side down please! Give everyone equal time), and in front of an audience.

All of these criteria can easily be fulfilled not just by a formal debate but also by a much more informal Question and Answer style. All you need to do is make sure that there are speakers on both sides – keep things even please, if you have an odd number of speakers make sure that that is due to someone being in the middle such as providing context and numbers.  

So get involved. Sign your society up at

All we want you to do is hold your debate, with an audience be it friends, just the other members of your society, or something bigger for anyone to attend, and then take a vote from this audience and tell us the result.