Workshop: Policies and practices in the history of farm animal research
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Workshop: Policies and practices in the history of farm animal research

Workshop: Policies and practices in the history of farm animal research

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Old Library

Institute of Geography

Drummond Street

Edinburgh

EH8 9XP

United Kingdom

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Policies and practices in the history of farm animal research, 1900–present

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?




Preliminary programme:

Thursday, 2 June

9:00 Registration

9:20–9:40 Welcome from Miguel Garcia-Sancho; introductions

9:40–11:00 Session 1: Working across species on the farm

  • Abigail Woods: From one medicine to two: The investigation of diseased sheep in Britain, c1880–1920
  • Robert Kirk & Edmund Ramsden: Psychobiological Farmscapes: Howard S. Liddell and the Cornell ‘Behavior Farm’, c.1823–1962

11:00–11:30 Coffee

11:30–1:30 Session 2: Between science and breeding

  • Tiago Saraiva: Guinea Pigs as Pork: Model Organisms and Food Production in the New Deal
  • Bert Theunissen: The role of science in postwar animal breeding in the Netherlands
  • Rebecca Woods: “Born to Perform®”: Creating the Perendale Breed of Sheep at Massey Agricultural College, c. 1950

1:30–2:30 Lunch

2:30–4 Roundtable. Plant and animal research in the history of agricultural policy.

  • Moderator: Steve Sturdy
  • Speakers: Miguel Garcia-Sancho, Paul Brassley, Dominic Berry

5–6:30 Keynote lecture. Chair: Grahame Bulfield

  • Paolo Palladino: From Dolly to the New Peasantry: On places, practices and the politics of life itself

7 Dinner

Friday, 3 June

9:30–11:30 Session 3: Interacting with policymakers.

  • Michael Bresalier: World Hunger and Healthy Animal: The ‘livestock solution’ to the post-war food crisis
  • Dmitriy Myelnikov: Cuts and the cutting edge: Making agricultural biotechnology in 1980s Edinburgh
  • Jess Phoenix: Testing for Bovine Tuberculosis: Farm Realities and Convenient Untruth

11:30–12 Coffee

12:00–1:00 Closing comments by Sarah Franklin and group discussion.

1:00 Lunch

Date and Time

Location

Old Library

Institute of Geography

Drummond Street

Edinburgh

EH8 9XP

United Kingdom

View Map

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