Be it the COVID-19 crisis, the sixth mass extinction, or the ongoing collapse of the world’s climate: Our relations with other animals, the way we treat our environment, and our attitudes toward global health are urgently in need of change.
Although there is merit in studying these phenomena in isolation, we, the organizing team behind the webinar series “Animals, Climate Change and Global Health”, believe that they are intimately connected, have common causes, and often mutually reinforce one another.
The three of us come from different academic disciplines, namely philosophy, politics, law, biomedical science, veterinary medicine and public health, and thus, may disagree on some approaches, methods, and conclusions. Nonetheless, we believe that maintaining the conversation, making our research transparent and accessible, and learning from each other are all integral steps to achieve meaningful changes. We hope to be able to do the very same, on a larger scale, through this series: Inspire researchers and practitioners across the globe to begin an in-depth conversation – and actions – at the nexus animals x climate change x global health.
Charlotte E. Blattner is a senior researcher and lecturer at the Institute for Public Law, University of Bern. She earned her PhD in international law and animal law from the University of Basel, Switzerland, as part of the doctoral program Law and Animals. From 2017-2018, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s University, Canada, working on animal labour as part of Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law, and Ethics (APPLE). From 2018-2020, Blattner was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Program, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, to explore critical intersections of animal and environmental law. She is the author of Protecting Animals Within and Across Borders (2019) and Animal Labour: A New Frontier of Interspecies Justice? (2020, coedited with Will Kymlicka and Kendra Coulter), both published by Oxford University Press. Blattner has argued several cases in court, including the “Primate Rights Case” currently pending at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. In her current research, she further delves into climate law and studies, challenging conservative estimates, purely market-based mechanisms, and ingrained anthropocentrism. More information can be found on her website: https://charlotteblattner.net/
Kathrin Herrmann, DVM, DipECAWBM (AWSEL), PhD, is a veterinary expert in animal welfare science, ethics and law. She works at the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at Johns Hopkins University, USA, where she directs the ‘Beyond Classical Refinement’ Program. Her work addresses the reproducibility and translatability crises that science is facing. Taking into consideration insurmountable interspecies differences, solely refining animal studies will not be sufficient to advance human healthcare. Consequently, Kathrin’s Program is critically appraising current animal use practices in science. With teaching the next generation of scientists being a main focus, Kathrin is involved in several international initiatives to improve and extend animal-free, human-relevant science education. Together with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Kathrin co-organized and co-hosted the first US Summer School on Innovative Science Without Animals in June 2020, which will take place every two years in alternation with the European Summer School, organized by the European Commission Joint Research Centre. Kathrin initiated and co-edited the open access book Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change (Brill Human Animal Studies Series, 2019), which features 51 authors who critically review current animal use in science, present new and innovative non-animal approaches to address urgent scientific questions, and offer a roadmap towards an animal-free world of science. Other passions of Kathrin are to raise awareness of the important role veterinarians should play in animal protection and animal law and to a cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable lifestyle. Connect with Kathrin on twitter or linkedin.
Eva Meijer is a philosopher and novelist. She has written nine books and her work has been translated into seventeen languages. Meijer’s philosophical work focuses on language and social justice. She currently works as a postdoctoral researcher in a project about nonhuman animal agency in the Anthropocene at the University of Wageningen (NL) and is chair of the Dutch OZSW Group for Animal Ethics. More information can be found on her website: www.evameijer.nl.
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