Brooks Animal Agency, Sentience, and Cognition Initiative
The Brooks Institute is pursuing a far-reaching and ambitious effort to advance animal law and policy through the use of science and effective communication. The goal is to create new bridges among law, science, and narrative techniques to prompt a paradigm shift for non-human animal protection and rights. We call this effort the Brooks Animal Agency, Sentience, and Cognition (BASCO) Initiative.
Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network
The Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network (BASAN) is a network of premier academics and their institutions with the mission or purpose to advance scholarly knowledge and academic opportunities (including for students) in animal law, animal policy-making, and related animal studies.
The Brooks Institute is its sponsor and facilitator.
Our metaphor for BASAN is a constellation of stars. Each member is distinctive and pursues its own projects, yet the formal collaboration of the various programs allows for the creation of something unified. Through collaboration BASAN will advance scholarship and academic programming in animal rights and protection issues. The goal of BASAN is to facilitate interdisciplinary research and collaborations across universities.
We view the Institute as the “micro” of collaborative activities and new intellectual fruit. We have a “macro” of collaborative activities through the Brooks Congress. The Brooks Congress is a by-invitation-only convening of top community thinkers, actors, and rising stars. The Congress is structured to major on discussion and relationship and community building and minor on presentations. The goal of the Congress is to facilitate discussion, relationship building that results in new collaborations, and a sense of community strategy.
For operating committees and special projects, initiatives, and interests, the Brooks Institute hosts and facilitates Summits. Such Summits convene the very top subject matter experts in animal law, animal policy, and animal studies from multiple disciplines. The aim is to hear from experts on what they think the most pressing questions are in the targeted subject matter.
Loosely modeled on a mini-version of the Bellagio Institute concept, a Summit is typically held over one to three days, with plenty of free time to mingle and exchange ideas in a less formal context. Each invited participant may lead a discussion on their ongoing or recently completed research or other endeavors. The primary goal is to stimulate engaged dialogue and creative thinking across multiple disciplinary approaches in order to generate big and bold ideas about where the future of the target subject matter ought to be headed.