Kristin Andrews is Professor of Philosophy and York Research Chair in Animal Minds at York University (Canada), and CIFAR Fellow in the Future Flourishing program. She is the author of many papers and books on animal social cognition, consciousness, morality, and personhood, including The Animal Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animal Cognition (Routledge 2020), How to Study Animal Minds (Cambridge 2020), and How Apes Read Minds: Toward a New Folk Psychology (MIT 2012), and co-author of Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ Brief (Routledge 2018).
Professor Andrews brings empirical and theoretical expertise to questions about the similarities and differences between humans and nonhuman animals in terms of their cognitive, affective, social, and cultural capacities. She has developed novel frameworks for social and normative cognition that can be used to investigate these capacities in other animals. Professor Andrews is currently engaged in a number of projects related to social norms. She is writing a book on the evolution of social norms, exploring whether social norms form part of animal cultures in a range of species, and developing the implications of these findings for animal conservation and welfare efforts. Professor Andrews also writes on animal consciousness, animal ethics, animal morality, and legal status for animals.
Kristin will be presenting Social Norms in Animal Cultures.
Professor Georgia Mason is an award-winning behavioural biologist specilaising in animal wefare and the long-term impacts of captive environments. She has a PhD and post-doc from Cambridge University, and 10 years of research fellowship experience at Oxford University, before moving to Canada to take up a Canada Research Chair in 2004. She currently directs the University of Guelph's Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, the largest and oldest animal welfare research group in the Americas. Her current research focuses on the validation of indicators of animal welfare, the causes and welfare significance of stereotypic behaviour, species differences in captive well-being, and whether poor cages can induce depression.
Georgia will be presenting Animal Welfare and the Validity of Animal-Based Biomedical Research.
Maya Mathur is an Assistant Professor at the Stanford University Quantitative Sciences Unit, the principal investigator of the Humane & Sustainable Food Lab, and the Associate Director of the Stanford Center for Open and Reproducible Science. Her lab’s research on animal welfare focuses on educational and choice-architectural means to reduce consumption of meat and animal products. Maya has received early-career and young investigator awards from the Society for Epidemiologic Research, the Society for Research Synthesis Methods, and American Statistical Association.
Maya will be presenting Nudges to Reduce Meat and Animal-Product Consumption: The State of the Scientific Evidence.
David M. Peña-Guzmán
David M. Peña-Guzmán is associate professor of humanities at SF State. He specializes in animal studies, the history and philosophy of science, French philosophy, and theories of consciousness. He is the author of When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness, and co-author of Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ Brief. He is also co-host of the podcast Overthink, which puts philosophical ideas in dialogue with everyday life.
David will be presenting When Animals Dream.
Dr. Andrew Fenton is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Dalhousie University. He has authored or co-authored papers related to animal ethics, animal philosophy, or animal research ethics in such journals as Animals, Biology and Philosophy, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Developing World Bioethics, Journal of Animal Ethics, and The Monist, and has chapters on these topics in Contagion Narratives: The Society, Culture and Ecology of the Global South (co-edited by R. Sreejith Varma and Ajanta Sircar, Routledge, 2023), The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics (co-edited by L. Syd M Johnson and Karen Rommelfanger, Routledge, 2018), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds (co-edited by Kristin Andrews and Jacob Beck, Routledge, 2018), and the Philosophy of Behavioral Biology (co-edited by Kathryn Plaisance and Thomas Reydon, Springer, 2012). Fenton also co-edited a book, with Syd Johnson and Adam Shriver, titled Neuroethics and Nonhuman Animals (Springer, 2020).
Fenton’s animal-related work is informed by how our deepening scientific understanding of the psychological capacities of various nonhuman animals should change philosophical discussions of their knowledge (beyond a simple reliabilism), agency (including their consent and dissent capacities) and treatment in captivity (e.g., in laboratories). To date, his work in animal bioethics has largely concerned animals used in science. Fenton has been advocating for a re-seeing of such practices as positive reinforcement training or rehoming/retiring research animals to better align them with such ethics principles as nonmaleficence and respect for sentient beings.
Since around 2018, Fenton has also been a part of a small group of philosophers submitting amicus briefs in support of cases spearheaded by the Nonhuman Rights Project. These briefs explicitly reject an understanding of legal personhood that restricts it to humans. An expansion of the brief associated with the chimpanzee cases involving Kiko and Tommy resulted in a co-authored book, Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ Brief (Routledge, 2019).
Andrew will be moderating Social Norms in Animal Cultures.
Becca Franks is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at New York University. After earning a BA in Anthropology from New York University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University, she was a Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia, where she was awarded the Killam Research Prize. Her research and teaching lie at the intersection of environmental and animal protection, emphasizing animal behavior, aquatic animal welfare, quantitative methods, and human-animal relationships. The core question driving her work is: How can advancing our understanding of animals address the urgent demands of the Anthropocene? In addition to publishing scholarly articles, chapters, and commentaries, she co-edited a special issue for Frontiers in Veterinary Science and is an associate editor for the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
Becca will be moderating Animal Welfare and the Validity of Animal-Based Biomedical Research.
Pablo Pérez Castelló
Pablo P. Castelló is the 2022-2024 Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Ethics at the Department of Philosophy, Queen’s University. After working as a Research Assistant at the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law (2021-2022), Pablo’s project at Queen’s develops his PhD theory on “zoodemocracy” – focusing on (i) how animals tell us about the infrastructure they want, the fundamental legal rights they demand, and the common good they co-author; and (ii) the institutional mechanisms for translating animals’ political agency into concrete policies, and law. His publication record includes several philosophy, conservation, and law review articles in journals such as Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Animal Studies Journal, and the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy. His research also engages with ecofeminism, postcolonialism, disability studies, and critical race theory. (email@example.com; twitter: @PabloPCastello)
Pablo will be moderating When Animals Dream.
Kristen Stilt is Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School. Prior to HLS, Stilt was Harry R. Horrow Professor in International Law at Northwestern Law School and Professor of History at Northwestern University.
Stilt’s interest in animal issues escalated while conducting research in Egypt for her PhD in Middle Eastern Studies. While there she became involved with several animal advocacy groups, and still helps fund an Egyptian animal rescue project—in addition to personally rescuing dozens of dogs and cats off the streets of Cairo.
She was named a Carnegie Scholar for her work on constitutional Islam, and in 2013 was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. She has also received awards from Fulbright and Fulbright-Hays.
Publications include Islamic Law in Action (Oxford University Press, 2011); “Constitutional Innovation and Animal Protection in Egypt,” Law & Social Inquiry (2018); and “Law” in Critical Terms for Animal Studies, edited by Lori Gruen (University of Chicago Press, 2018). She is currently working on a new book project entitled Halal Animals, to be published by Oxford University Press.
Her research focuses on animal law, and in particular the intersection of animal law and religious law; Islamic law and society; and comparative constitutional law.