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International Workshop
Policies and practices in the history of farm animal research, 1900-present

June 2 – June 3 2016


Organised by: Dr Miguel Garcia-Sancho and Dmitriy Myelnikov, STIS, University of Edinburh

External participants from the UK and abroad have been invited to join researchers at STIS - including Innogen members Dmitriy Myelnikov, Miguel GarcĂ­a-Sancho, Steve Sturdy, Ann Bruce and Joyce Tait - for a two-day workshop, which will also include a round table and a lecture remembering Dolly the sheep, both events open to the public.

The farm has been a prominent site of scientific research, but it has received modest historical attention compared to the laboratory, the clinic or the field, especially when it comes to animal agriculture. Yet throughout the twentieth century, animal productivity and health have posed important, long-standing political concerns. A substantial fraction of research funding for the life sciences came from donors with an agricultural orientation. Some of the key medical technologies that moved across species, such as artificial insemination and embryo freezing, were pioneered in farm animals. Finally, since the rise of modern biotechnology in the 1970s, farm animals have been subjected to genetic modification and cloning, and involved in dramatic debates around food safety, innovation and the ethical limits on scientific intervention.

This two-day workshop seeks to explore the diverse trajectories of research done on farm animals in the light of changing state policies in science, agriculture and beyond, since 1900. Within these parameters, we hope to cover a wide range of approaches, subjects and geographies. How did policies affect the work carried out on the ground, and the relationship between researchers, farmers, industry and the state? How did agricultural science feed back into policy decisions? Where did research and development sit within agricultural and broader policy? What cultural roles did farm animals play under various regimes?

Full programme and registration accessible here.

On the eve of the workshop there will be a roundtable with Ian Wilmut and other scientists and commentators involved in the birth of Dolly.
It can be attended separately and needs independent registration from the workshop here.

The workshop’s plenary lecture is open to the public and can also be attended separately. It needs independent registration here.