|Admin History||William 'Bill' Moy Stratten Russell was born in Plymouth on 26 March 1925. He studied Classics at New College, Oxford in 1941. After the war he returned to Oxford to continue his studies, but switched to Zoology and was awarded a First Class Honours degree in Natural Sciences in 1948. He graduated with a DPhil in animal behaviour in 1952.|
In 1954 he was appointed by the Universities Federation of Animal Welfare (UFAW) as a research fellow, to undertake research into the history and progress of the introduction of humane methods into biological research. Rex Burch was recruited as his assistant. Two main methods were employed in their work: a historical study of the literature of experimental biology (undertaken by Russell) and a survey of the present trends in the field (undertaken by Burch under the supervision of Russell). In 1959 Russell, in conjunction with Burch, published 'The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique' in which they introduced the 'Three Rs' principles for the more ethical use of animals in scientific research - Replacement, Reduction and Refinement.
The book made little impact at the time it was published, but the Three Rs approach began to gain momentum amongst the animal protection community in the late 1970s and 1980s. During the 1990s the principles became more widely accepted and are now fully endorsed by many organisations. Professor Michael Balls (b. 1938), Chairman of the Trustees of the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experimentation (FRAME) had become a proponent of the Three Rs after coming across the publication 'The Principles'. He was very active in promoting the work of Russell and Burch to a wider audience, publishing a translation into Korean and an abridged version for those whose first language is not English. He invited Russell to speak at conferences, such as the World Congresses on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences and named the FRAME headquarters building in Nottingham 'Russell and Burch House'.
In 1991 the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) introduced their Russell and Burch Award for outstanding contributions to alternative methods. Russell's own awards included the Smith Kline Beecham Laboratory Animal Welfare Prize of the Research Defence Society (1994), the Bronze Medal of the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University at Hradec Kralove (1997) and the Silver Medal of the University of Bologna (1999).
After leaving UFAW, Russell practiced privately as a psychoanalyst, then in 1964 he joined the Commonwealth Bureau of Pastures and Field Crops as a Scientific Information Officer. In 1966 he was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Reading. He was promoted to Reader in 1971, Professor in 1986, and retired as Emeritus Professor in 1990. William Russell died on 27 July 2006.
Michael Balls, Professor of Medical Cell Biology at the University of Nottingham and Chair of the Trustees of the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments, became interested in researching the origins of the Three Rs and arranged for Russell's vast collection of papers to be transferred to the University of Nottingham (WCR). In 2009 Professor Balls organised a conference held at the University of Nottingham celebrating the the 50th anniversary of the publication of 'The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique' (W.M.S. Russell and R.L. Burch, London, 1959), the 40th anniversary of the foundation of FRAME, the 30th anniversary of the start of collaboration between the University of Nottingham and FRAME, and the establishment of the W.M.S. and Claire Russell Archive at the University of Nottingham.
|Custodial History||This is an artificial collection of materials relating to Russell which were donated to the University from a number of different sources and so do not have the same provenance as the Papers of Professor William Moy Stratten Russell (WCR).|