Center for Animals and Public Policy Animal Matters Series

The Center for Animals and Public Policy hosts the Animal Matters Seminar Series at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Each spring and fall, the Center invites speakers from all over the country to give a lecture on their subject of expertise. The guest lecturers represent diverse perspectives on an array of topics relating to animal ethics and policy and their talks are open to the public free of charge. See below for a list of past and upcoming lectures.

Upcoming Lectures

Green Chimneys Farm and Wildlife Center: Animal-Assisted Interventions That Benefit Both Humans and Animals
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall (letter "K" on the campus map)
Michael E. Kaufmann
Director, Green Chimneys Farm and Wildlife Center/Sam and Myra Ross Institute
Green Chimneys is home to 300 animals of diverse species and hundreds of children with special needs. Making ethical decisions about the lives of these animals challenges the Green Chimneys staff team daily. How do we ensure each animal has the best quality of life? There are many sensitive ethical issues surrounding human/animal interaction and there are very different ways of interpreting, modeling or practicing this relationship. Opinions diverge easily. There are a wide range of beliefs or philosophies about the treatment of animals, among our own staff and among guests. Michael will offer concrete examples to demonstrate how the Green Chimneys team applies a progressive, thoughtful, yet also very pragmatic approach as part of a greater human service program that operates in an imperfect world.
Download the flier for this event.
Click here to join live seminar remotely
Meeting number: 731 523 584 Meeting password: kaufmann

Organs-on-Chips as Potential Alternatives to Animal Testing
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall (letter "K" on the campus map)
Geraldine Hamilton, PhD
Lead Senior Staff Scientist, The Wyss Institute, Harvard University
President and CSO, Emulate
Dr. Geraldine Hamilton will discuss the potential impact of novel biomimetic microsystems, Organs-on-Chips, and their application for predicting efficacy, safety and mechanism of action for new drugs, chemicals, and cosmetics. Human organs-on-chips provide exciting new approaches to attack fundamental questions in biology and develop smart in vitro surrogates. By offering a more human relevant alternative to current animal based approaches for disease model development, this technology allows researchers and clinicians a true-to-life window into better understanding human health.
Download her biography here
Download the flier for this event.
Click here to join live seminar remotely
Meeting number: 737 633 365 Meeting password: hamilton

Numerical Competence in African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus)
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Noon in the Varis Lecture Hall (letter "K" on the campus map)
Irene M. Pepperberg, MA, PhD
Research Associate and Lecturer, Psychology Department, Harvard University
Dr. Irene Pepperberg received her MA and PhD from Harvard University. Dr. Pepperberg’s research interest is in animal cognition and comparative psychology, with an emphasis on avian behavior. She works with Grey parrots, teaching them to communicate with humans using the sounds of English speech, and then uses this communication code to test them in ways similar to those used with young children. The main focus of her work is to determine the cognitive and communicative abilities of these birds, and compare their abilities with those of great apes, marine mammals, and young children. Download her biography here
Download the flier for this event.
Click here to join live seminar remotely
Meeting number: 736 520 948 Meeting password: pepperberg

Past Lectures