Minding Animals Conference 2012

6 07 2011

The 2012 Minding Animals Conference is the second in a series of conferences about scientific, ethical and social issues related to human animal interactions.  The aim of the conference is to bring together academics from many disciplines with politicians and a broad variety of interest groups.


The conference offers a platform for exchange of information about research developments, debates about controversial political and ethical issues concerning the human treatment of animals, and a variety of cultural activities around human animal interactions.

The Minding Animals Conference planned for Utrecht University in the Netherlands is proud to follow up on the internationally celebrated first Minding Animals Conference (Newcastle, Australia, July 2009) and will take place in the first week of July 2012.

Plan your summer of 2012 in Europe!


Immediately preceding the main conference at Utrecht University, there will be a final pre-conference event, hosted by the International School of Philosophy at Leusden, near Utrecht. This conference includes keynotes, (panel) discussions, film and book presentations, art exhibitions and a social program on The Future of Animal Politics. The Utrecht conference – titled Minding Animals. Science, Humanities, Ethics – will consist of keynotes, academic parallel sessions based on a call for abstracts, and the Protecting the Animals Seminar Series in which animal advocacy organizations and community advocates are invited to present and discuss their work among themselves and with a broader public. The conference will be supported by an active social program.




June 26 – 29: 11th World Congress in Bioethics, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (“Bioethics for the future, bioethics of the future”: concerning new technologies and new problems, with special attention for methodology and theory in bioethics)

July 1 – 3: final pre-conference event The Future of Animal Politics at the International School of Philosophy in Leusden, near Utrecht

July 4 – 6: Minding Animals Conference 2012 – Minding Animals, Science, Humanities and Ethics – at Utrecht University


Tot ziens in Nederland! See you in the Netherlands!


How to contribute?

– submit an abstract for an academic presentation:

Besides a great number of excellent keynote speakers from different disciplinary backgrounds, there will be many parallel sessions featuring presentations based on this call for papers. Abstracts, of a maximum 600 words, should contain the main question, line or argument, and (expected) conclusions. The abstracts will be reviewed with respect to quality and academic rigor.

– submit a contribution for the Protecting the Animals Seminar Series

The PASS is a forum for animal advocacy organizations and community advocates to present and discus their work and concerns among themselves and with a broader public.

To lodge an abstract or contribute to the PASS, you must complete the abstract form or PASS contribution form, to be downloaded at www.mindinganimals.com and send as an email to: mindinganimals@uu.nl. Please follow the instructions on the website!






Conference session themes

Session 1: The Human-Animal Relationship (including animals in art, literature, religion, history of the human animal relationships, animals in the history of philosophy, psychological approaches towards the human animal relationships, cultural aspects of human animal relationships)

Session 2: Animal Capacities (including animal emotions, animal cognition, extrapolation of capacities from animals to humans and vice versa)

Session 3: Animal Welfare (including animal welfare at the interface between science and society, approaches of positive welfare, welfare assessment in practice, animal slaughter)

Session 4: Animal Ethics (including the justification of duties towards animals, animal welfare, animal rights, animal liberation, the killing of animals, harm of death, vegetarianism and veganism, animal experimentation, animal husbandry, chimeras and hybrids, dignity, integrity)

Session 5: Animals and Sustainability (including (public) health aspects, social consequences, stakeholder relationships, landscape, environmental effects, climate change)

Session 6: Animals and Public Policy (including animals in the law, politics and stakeholders, the use of best practice guidance, national identity versus the level playing field, the role of ethics in politics, sustainability, current themes concerning the future of animal husbandry)



Organizing Committee Minding Animals Utrecht 2012

Prof. Marcus Düwell, Ethics Institute, Utrecht University

Prof. Frauke Ohl, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University

Dr. Tatjana Visak, Frederike Kaldewaij, Dr. Franck Meijboom, Utrecht University

Erno Eskens, International School of Philosophy, Leusden

Dr. Rod Bennison, Minding Animals International CEO

Kim Stallwood, Deputy CEO Minding Animals International






Conference Keynotes and Plenary Speakers

Confirmed speakers for the conference include:

Prof. John Coetzee, famous author and Nobel Prize winner;

Prof. Marc Bekoff, former professor of animal behavior, author of numerous books about animal capacities and the human-animal relationship;

Prof. Hariet Ritvo, expert on the history of human animal relationships;

Prof. Julia Driver, professor of Philosophy, exploring a Humean account of duties towards animals;

Dr. Jill Robinson, influential animal protectionist and founder of Animals Asia, also Minding Animals International Patron;

Prof. Robert Garner, expert on the political representation of nonhuman interests and animal rights, and author of several books about animal ethics, politics and justice;

Prof. Colin Allen, Indiana University, expert in philosophy of mind and animal consciousness;

Prof. Dale Jamieson, head of New York University’s Animal Studies Program and expert in animal and environmental ethics; and

Prof. Christine Korsgaard, Harvard professor of philosophy, who developed a novel Kantian approach concerning our duties towards animals.


Next to outstanding academics, eminent politicians and policy makers will be involved in the discussions, as well as the general public and representatives of a wide range of animal organizations.


Pre-conference events

Information about pre-conference events, can also be found on the website: www.mindinganimals.com!




Utrecht is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands. The town is located in the center of the country, half an hour by train from Amsterdam. Utrecht is easily accessible and therefore a major commercial and conference town. It is the fastest expanding commercial center (mainly services) in the Netherlands. Utrecht is one of the oldest towns of the Netherlands with an important historical center, characterized by the canals and the medieval Dom-  tower. There are many educational institutes in Utrecht, and one sixth of the city’s population of over 300,000 is a student. Utrecht University is the biggest university in the Netherlands.


The conference will take place at De Uithof, the modern university center of Utrecht. The spectacular modern buildings there attract visitors from all over the world.



Stay informed!

If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter and you would like to receive further newsletters and information about the Utrecht conference, please e-mail mindinganimals@uu.nl.

If you like more information about Minding Animals International, or about any of the pre-conference events, please e-mail mindinganimals@gmail.com

Quelle: DGPhil





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