Ethical implications of robot pets
Jul
26
5:00 PM17:00

Ethical implications of robot pets

Abstract:

The age of artificial intelligence and robotics is upon us. Amongst the many possible applications of this technology, so-called “social” robots, both humanoid and zoomorphic, are touted as future companions. The prospect of robot pets evolving into social actors and companions for children, older adults, and others raises ethical and philosophical issues: Will sophisticated robot animals deceive some of us into believing they are sentient? Can robopets really offer companionship? What can artificial animal companions offer us that “real” animals cannot? And what effects, if any, will robopets have on our relations with living beings? Roboticists, human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers, and philosophers are beginning to seriously ponder questions like these. This presentation will make a start at reflecting on some of these issues, and will suggest that the evolution of robot animals may potentially carry both advantages and dangers.

Speaker bio:

Simon Coghlan PhD, BVSc, is a veterinarian and ethicist. Currently he is a Research Fellow at the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne, where he is researching ethical questions related to social and companion robots. He also lectures in medical ethics at the University of Adelaide, in the Faculty if Health. Previously, he worked as a small animal veterinarian in private practice. Other research interests include veterinary ethics, animal ethics, and animal-assisted therapy.

Please register for free below: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/ethical-implications-of-robot-pets-tickets-60336659573

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Chimera: Animal Ethics of Xenotransplantation
Aug
16
4:30 PM16:30

Chimera: Animal Ethics of Xenotransplantation

Chimera

This project combines research and creative practice, with the aim of producing a sustained work of fiction about the bioethics of xenotransplantation and its associated forms of animal abuse and exploitation. Xenotransplantation is the practice of using living animal organs, tissues and cells as medical transplants in human recipients. The gene editing technology known as CRISPR/cas9 is currently being used to create human-pig hybrids, with embryos allowed to develop to 28 weeks before being killed. The fate of these so-called ‘chimeras’ is a particularly malign consequence of human exceptionalism. Ironically, though, because of scientific anxieties about the possibility of making transgenic animals more ‘human’, these non-human animals have the potential to destabilise the species boundary. The creative component of this research aims to uncover and disseminate concealed truths about the present and future abuses of non-human animals in biomedicine and other forms of consumption. This presentation is an excerpt from the creative work in progress, with a brief exegetical component to frame it.

Author bio:

Dr Kate Hall teaches literary studies and graduate research skills at Deakin University, Australia, and is Deputy Convenor of the Deakin Critical Animal Studies Research Network. She writes fiction and creative non-fiction, most recently for Overland, The Grapple Annual and New Community Quarterly, and scholarly work on Indigenous/non-Indigenous cultural relations in Australia. Current research interests include the intersections of queer sexualities and critical animal studies, representations of queer female desire in young adult fiction, and the animal bioethics of xenotransplantation.

Please register for this free event below:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/chimera-animal-ethics-and-xenotransplantation-tickets-64953797557

 

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Elephant in the Town
Jul
1
3:00 PM15:00

Elephant in the Town

Title: 

Elephant in the town: Conservation, urbanisation and development in Assam

 

Abstract: 

In the past five years in Assam, more people have been killed in encounters with elephants and other wildlife, than as a result of political violence. This particular fact stands out as a matter of concern for social scientists and activists, for the state has had unprecedented episodes of conflicts arising out of demands for autonomy and social justice since the 1980s. There have been several transformative political, social and economic processes following the commencement of counter-insurgency operations against left-wing separatist rebels in 1990 by the Indian army. This period has seen a corresponding rise in rural-urban migration in the state that in turn has affected political discourse in the region. In my talk, I argue that the current animal-human encounters leading to deaths (of both species) marks a seamless shift in the counter-insurgency theatre and raises deeper questions about economic equity, social justice and development in contemporary Assam.

 

Bio:

Sanjay (Xonzoi) Barbora is a sociologist who teaches at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Guwahati Campus). His academic research areas of interest include migration, agrarian change, conservation, trade union issues, media studies and human rights. His forthcoming book "Homeland Insecurities: Conflict, Autonomy and Migration in Assam" looks at the intersections of political mobilisation for social justice and autonomy, the rise of state violence and emergence of alternative political voices that seek to transform militarised landscapes (in Assam). Barbora frequently writes for academic and popular journals, as well as for dailies and online magazines. He remains committed to promoting community radio stations in India (much to the amusement of colleagues, students and friends).

 Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/elephant-in-the-town-conservation-urbanisation-and-development-in-assam-tickets-64035524979

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Should Christians be Vegan?
Jun
18
5:00 PM17:00

Should Christians be Vegan?

About the speaker

David Clough is Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Chester and has just finished a term as President of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics. He co-wrote Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War (2007), debating just war and pacifism in a 21st century context, and has recently completed the landmark two-volume monograph On Animals (2012, 2018), on the place of animals in Christian theology and ethics. He is the founder of CreatureKind (http://becreaturekind.org), a project aiming to engage Christians with farmed animal welfare, and Principal Investigator for a three-year UK Research Council funded project on the Christian Ethics of Farmed Animal Welfare in partnership with major UK churches and Compassion in World Farming. He is a Methodist lay preacher and has represented the Methodist Church on national ecumenical working groups on the ethics of warfare and climate change.

About the books

On Animals is David Clough's landmark two-volume academic monograph on the place of animals in Christian theology and ethics. Volume I was described by one reviewer as: 'indisputably the most important and comprehensive theological treatment of animals to have appeared in any language at any time in the Christian tradition’. Senior Christian ethicists endorsing Volume II call it ‘remarkable and invaluable’, ‘ the definitive work on the subject for many years’ (Carol Adams), of ‘astonishing’ reach (Margaret Farley), ‘the most significant Christian theological and ethical treatment of animals in the history of Christian ethics’ that will have 'a revolutionary impact on lived Christian behavior’ (David Gushee), and ‘a redefining moment for how we should teach theology…and live with our animal-kin’ (Willie Jennings).

 

David is touring Australia during June 2019 to set out the challenging core message of the book for Christian thought and practice. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear his engaging and inspiring words. Paperback copies of Volume II are on sale exclusively at book tour events.

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Fur, feathers and fashion – the use of animals in the fashion industry & the rise of cruelty-free fashion
May
10
5:00 PM17:00

Fur, feathers and fashion – the use of animals in the fashion industry & the rise of cruelty-free fashion

Abstract:

Contrary to the significant swing in public opinion against fur in fashion in the 1990’s, today there are more designers using fur than ever before, with approximately 500 fashion designers using fur in their ready-to-wear fashion lines. The global fur industry is now worth over $40 billion US dollars, and the global leather industry is even larger, valued at over $200 billion US dollars. In light of the significant welfare issues raised by fur production, numerous high-end fashion designers have gone fur-free, including Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani. Various jurisdictions around the world have also banned the production, importation and sale of fur. In contrast, the leather industry hasn’t faced the same reaction, although fur and leather alternatives are both increasing in popularity, with the synthetic leather market projected to reach $85 billion US dollars by 2025. Signalling change in the air, last month LA held the very first vegan fashion week, showcasing designs from a new generation of compassionate designers. Organic leather alternatives are also on the rise, including vegetable, pineapple, mushroom and even apple leather entering the market. All of these developments indicate that we are genuinely starting to take the first steps towards a cruelty-free fashion future. Come along to the presentation to discuss this important issue with Dr Meg Good, Animal Law & Education Manager at Voiceless.

Speaker bio:

Dr Meg Good is the Animal Law and Education Manager at Voiceless, the animal protection institute. She holds a PhD in environmental law, and an appointment as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Tasmania where she runs the ‘Animal Law’ unit and supervises animal law honours theses. She has held positions with various animal law organisations, including the Barristers Animal Welfare Panel, the Animal Law Institute, and the Australian Animal Protection Law Journal. She created and co-ordinated Tasmania's first animal law conference, and was awarded the inaugural RSPCA Australia Sybil Emslie Animal Law Scholarship.

Please register for free at the link below: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/fur-feathers-and-fashion-the-use-of-animals-in-the-fashion-industry-the-rise-of-cruelty-free-fashion-tickets-60336217250

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Duck Lake: an anti-duck-shooting, art-meets-activism event
Apr
18
5:00 PM17:00

Duck Lake: an anti-duck-shooting, art-meets-activism event

The Deakin Critical Animal Studies Network is pleased to announce our next public lecture, 'Duck Lake: an anti-duck-shooting, art-meets-activism event' by Dr Yvette Watt. Vegan afternoon tea will be provided.

Abtsract: 

On March 5, 2016, just before dawn, an art-meets-activism event unfolded at Moulting Lagoon on the east coast of Tasmania at the opening of the duck shooting season.Duck Lake was the brainchild of artist and animal activist (and academic), Yvette Watt (and involved a troupe of dancers in hot pink tutus and hard hats performing on a floating stage to music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

Designed to both draw attention to the duck shooting issue in view of ending it, to deter the ducks from the shooters guns, and to draw attention to the issue in the media this project was the culmination of a year’s planning and preparation and was the result of a large team of people coming together to make the event a reality.

Paying attention to issue around gender, visibility/invisibility, the role of the artist as activist, I will discuss the outcomes and the complexities of bringing Duck Lake to fruition, as well as reflecting on the project and its effects 3 years later.

Speaker bio: 

Dr Yvette Watt is Studio Head of Painting at the  School of Creative Arts and Media at the University of Tasmania, and Lead Researcher of the College of Arts, Law and Education Animal Studies Research Group. Yvette was a founding member of the Australasian Animal Studies Association and is a current committee member of Minding Animals International.

Yvette has a background in animal advocacy and her artwork and academic research is heavily informed by her activism and her interest in the changing nature of human-animal relations. Her research also reflects an interest in the relationship between how nonhuman animals are used and depicted in the visual arts and what this might have to say about how these animals are thought about and treated. Related to this is an interest in the role that art can play in engaging the viewer with social and/or political issues.

Event image courtesy of Michelle Powell.

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Taussig: The Cry of the Donkey
Mar
4
5:00 PM17:00

Taussig: The Cry of the Donkey

In this lecture Prof. Michael Taussig will share some of his latest thoughts related to multispecies matters. A question and answer session moderated by A/Prof Eben Kirksey will follow the lecture.

Michael Taussig is a Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University and at The European Graduate School / EGS in Switzerland. Known for his provocative ethnographic studies, he earnt a PhD in anthropology at the London School of Economics. He is widely published in anthropology, especially medical anthropology, but he remains most acclaimed for his commentaries on Karl Marx and Walter Benjamin, especially in relation to commodity fetishism. He is the author several books including: Palma Africana (2018),What Color is the Sacred? (2009), Walter Benjamin’s Grave (2006), My Cocaine Museum (2004), Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza in a Colombian Town (2003), Defacement (1999), Magic of the State (1997), Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses, and The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America (1980).

Brought to you by the Culture, Environment, and Science Stream of ADI, the Deakin Critical Animal Studies Network, the J. M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at The University of Adelaide, and the Centre of Visual Art.

Register for free: www.eventbrite.com.au/e/taussig-the-cry-of-the-donkey-tickets-55613700074


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