For each of our operating committees and for 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. We often plan for each invited participant leading a discussion on their ongoing or recently completed research or other endeavors. Our 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.
We view the Institute as the “micro” of collaborative activities and new intellectual fruit. We will have a “macro” of collaborative activities through the Brooks Congress. The Brooks Congress will be by-invitation-only a discussion of top community thinkers and actors, rising stars, and also persons who we would like exposed to best policies (such as legislators, judges, prosecutors, media, etc.). The Congress may pay-the-way of the attendees and be structured to major on discussion and relationship building and minor on presentations. The goal of the Congress will be to facilitate discussion, relationship building, and a sense of community strategy.
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 welfare issues. The goal of BASAN is to facilitate interdisciplinary research and collaborations across universities.
Brooks Animal Sentience and Cognition Initiative
The Brooks Institute is establishing a groundbreaking academic initiative on the sentience and cognition of non-human animals called the Brooks Animal Sentience and Cognition Initiative (BASCO). BASCO will identify the most prominent current research on sentience and cognition, and identify and fill critical gaps in this body of research, all in the service of a paradigm shift for animal welfare and rights. Not everyone will be persuaded to change their behavior or relationships with the non-human world based on groundbreaking science. However, for those willing to consider animal well-being, or for those looking to strengthen the claims for animal protection or rights, BASCO will be an invaluable resource and a call to action.
We expect that BASCO will be advanced in two stages: (1) the academic, and (2) the practical. The first stage will be characterized by scholarly research and its dissemination. The second stage will make rigorous academic research developed in the first stage relevant and instrumental to on-the-ground efforts to protect non-human animals.