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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
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.
Information about pre-conference events, can also be found on the
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 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.
If you like to receive the conference newsletters and information about the Utrecht conference, please e-mail email@example.com.
If you like more information about Minding Animals International, or
about any of the pre-conference events, please e-mail