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Sentience Mini-Series


Check out or sentience mini-series! Catch up on all of the seminars here, or on our YouTube page

We hope you had the opportunity to join in with our Sentience Mini-Series. CCSAW hosted four seminars discussing sentience of different groups of animals, from mammals and birds to insects. If you missed the live seminars but are interested in joining the discussion, check out the recorded seminars on our YouTube page or view them below!

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Seminar 1. Sentience: a short introduction, and the case for mammals and birds

The first seminar in our series was given by Dr. Jonathan Birch from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK) and Dr. Georgia Mason from the University of Guelph, Canada.

Dr. Birch started of the discussion by introducing the topic of sentience. Dr. Birch is and Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and specialises in the philosophy of the biological sciences. His research focuses on animal sentience, cognition and welfare and the evolution of social behaviour.

The second part of this seminar by Dr. Mason discussed the case for sentience in mammals and birds. Dr. Mason is the Director of CCSAW and her research in the Department of Integrative Biology focuses on the assessing the behaviour and welfare of captive housed animals.

Sentience Mini-Series 1: A short introduction and the case for mammals and birds

Seminar 2: The case for sentience in fish

The second seminar in the mini-series was presented by Dr. Culum Brown from Macquarie University, Australia. Dr. Brown is a Professor in the School of Natural Sciences and his research is centred around the behavioural ecology, cognition and intelligence of fishes. Check out his seminar below summarising research that points towards sentience in fish.

Sentience Mini-Series 2: The case for sentience in fish

Seminar 3: The case against sentience in fish

Our third seminar continued our debate about fish sentience, with Dr. Brian Key giving a counter argument about the lack of evidence for sentience in fish. Dr. Key is a Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia. His research explores how the brain experiences subject feelings and has previously focused on the molecular and cellular basis of brain development and regeneration.

Sentience Mini-Series 3: The case against sentience in fish

Seminar 4: Evidence for sentience in insects

The final installment of our mini-series explores sentience in insects and was presented in conjunction with the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. Dr. Andrew Crump is a Lecturer in Animal Cognition and Welfare at the Royal Veterinary College, UK, and he works towards improving the understanding of subjectively experience mental states and welfare of invertebrates.

Sentience Mini-Series 4: Evidence for sentience in insects