Ethics of Animal Experimentation

In 1947, Oxford don C. S. Lewis commented that it was “the rarest thing in the world to hear a rational discussion of vivisection”. The aim of this project in partnership with Cruelty Free International is to provide just that: a rational discussion of the ethics of using animals in research.

The first stage of the project was the publication of the Centre’s independent report on the ethics of the use of animals in research.  It is entitled Normalising the Unthinkable: The Ethics of Using Animals in Research.

The second stage was an international Summer School on the Ethics of Using Animals in Research.  The Summer School was held at St Stephen’s House, Oxford on 26-29 July 2015. Papers were invited from academics world-wide on any aspect relating to the ethics of animal experimentation, including philosophical and religious ethics, historical, legal, psychological, and sociological perspectives, the morality of various types of research, the use of alternatives, the confinement of animals in laboratories, and the effectiveness of current controls and future legislation. Contributors were asked to consider responding to the methodology and conclusions of the report in their contributions to the Summer School.

A short film about the Summer School is available below.

The programme of the Summer School is available here.

The project is being arranged by the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in partnership with Cruelty Free International. The Centre is very grateful to Cruelty Free International for its sponsorship of academic work on this subject.

St Stephen’s House is an Anglican Theological College and a Hall of the University of Oxford.

For more information please contact Clair Linzey at