The Human Animal Research Network (HARN) at the University of Sydney was formed in 2011. It is a cross-faculty research group comprising members from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Sydney Law School HARN is an important contributor to the emergent field of Animal Studies, both in Australia and internationally. This field of study serves as a bridge between the social sciences and sciences, and the structure of our group reflects this. Species extinctions, environmental sustainability and climate change, animal welfare and rights in the context of large scale agriculture and fishing, companion animal ethics, as well as recent controversies surrounding live animal exports, horse racing and mosquitoes, highlight the fact that significant problems emerge when public understandings, scientific innovation and legal frameworks are out of step with each other. The disciplines of human-animal studies, law, veterinary science, cultural studies and public health meet at this point - each concerned with questions such as:
- How does contact between humans and other species shape and reflect social relations in modern societies?
- How do we think ethics and politics in context of human / animal relations?
- How do humans and animals share places and spaces?
- How does human-animal interaction affect health, wellbeing and species survival?
By bringing together researchers who are experts in both social and scientific problem solving, HARN is uniquely placed to respond to these questions.
Dr Dinesh Wadiwel
The Honourable Michael D. Kirby AC CMG