Animal Research Unbound Conference 15-16 July 2019, University of Exeter

Much social scientific, philosophical and historical work on animal research has followed the enclosures around research communities and the relatively closed nature of animal research to highlight the construction of boundaries around animal research. This includes the ethical boundary work used to justify the use of animals in research, the human-animal and species boundaries constructed through research practices, the regulatory boundaries shaping responsibilities for animal use and care, through the spatial and material infrastructures that separate the animal house and laboratory. Even work tracing the accelerating mobilities and movements of research using animals often starts from consideration of how these might overcome boundaries between previously closed species and spaces of animal research.

This workshop seeks to explore an alternative starting point, by considering how animal research is and might be unbound, and exploring the consequences for issues around: knowledge production and its relation to regulatory institutions; ethics and welfare; care and the relation between human and non-human; the nature of epistemic cultures and silos in communities around research organisms; and the conceptualization of animal behavior and sentience. We want to trace the extensive experimental spaces in which animal research takes place and the diverse communities which animal research now actively encounters. We seek to explore insights from the unexpected species, outside of traditional organism communities, increasingly featuring in animal research. We are interested in exploring both the lives of animals within research, and the attitudes and perceptions linked to the use of animals across many different domains. We are interested in the how a wide variety of scientific practices and work might be doing new work to ‘unbound’ animal research.

Location: Bateman Theatre (Building One, Business School) for the sessions; Henderson Lecture Theatre for the public lecture.

Organisers: Sabina Leonelli, University of Exeter; Rachel Ankeny, University of Adelaide; Gail Davies, University of Exeter; Robert Kirk, University of Manchester

Participation to the conference as a whole is by registration only (first come first served, registration costs generously covered by the Australian Research Council). To register, please send an email to Chee Wong at Egenis:

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