Bovine tuberculosis is the most economically important animal health policy issue in Britain. The problem of what to do about badgers has plagued successive governments since a dead badger was discovered with bovine TB in 1971. Successive Labour governments oversaw the Randomised Badger Culling Trial from 1998 to 2006. Despite the RBCT recommendation against culling, the 2010–2015 Coalition government implemented pilot badger culls. This paper provides an account of the evolution of bovine TB and badger control policy, focusing on the (...) 1997–2010 Labour, the 2010–2015 Coalition and the 2015-present Conservative governments. Interviews with bovine TB policy stakeholders supplement discussion of the development of bovine TB policy. The paper discusses the science and politics of bovine TB policy, in which there are different badger control policies in Westminster, Welsh and Scottish governments. Badger control is a highly polarised issue, and the Coalition and Conservative governments have been heavily criticised for a culling policy opposed by the independent scientific community. Recent governments have defended badger culling on the basis of veterinary advice and experience in countries such as New Zealand. The paper concludes with two key recommendations to inform controversial animal health and welfare policy issues such as bovine TB. First, mandatory Animal Welfare Impact Assessment provides objective data on the impacts of policy options on cows and badgers. Second, robust ethical analysis, conducted by independent experts using established moral frameworks, should be applied to animal health and welfare issues for the benefit of decision makers. (shrink)
Bovine tuberculosis is a controversial animal health policy issue in England, which impacts farmers, the public, cattle and badgers. Badgers act as a wildlife reservoir of disease. Policy options for badger control include do nothing, badger culling, and badger vaccination. This paper argues for mandatory Animal Welfare Impact Assessment for all policy that significantly affects sentient animals. AWIA includes species description, and AWIA analysis stages. In this paper, AWIA is applied to impacts of bovine TB policy options on cattle and (...) badgers. Over 4 years, 85,000 badgers will be culled to prevent the slaughter of ~17,750 cattle over 9 years. Hence, about five badgers are culled for every cow which avoids slaughter. The AWIA analyses the impact of badger vaccination on cows and badgers based on a set of stated assumptions. The AWIA estimates badger vaccination to reduce the number of cows slaughtered by 11,600, i.e. a 12.5% reduction. Additional to the harm of killing, culling has greater welfare impacts on badgers compared to non-culling options. Actors in animal health and welfare policy were interviewed about the concept of AWIA. Policy actors supported the idea of AWIA to provide objective data to feed into policy making. The paper concludes with the proposal that AWIA is a necessary stage of just policy making where sentient animals are impacted by government policy. (shrink)
Bovine tuberculosis is the most important animal health and welfare policy issue in Britain. Badgers are a wildlife reservoir of disease, although the eight-year Independent Scientific Group Randomised Badger Culling Trial concluded with a recommendation against culling. The report advised government that bovine TB could be controlled, and ultimately eradicated, by cattle-based measures alone. Despite the ISG recommendation against culling, the farming and veterinary industries continued to lobby government for a badger cull. The 2005–2010 Labour government followed the ISG advice (...) and decided against a cull. The 2010–2015 Coalition and the 2015-present Conservative governments have followed a badger culling policy. This paper investigates whether a virtuous government would cull badgers. It provides an overview of virtue theory in the context of government animal health and welfare policy. Bovine TB and badger control policy options are then analysed in the context of the virtues of justice, wisdom, integrity, loyalty, curiosity, trust, empathy, compassion and aesthetics. Justice is the first virtue of government, and badger culling is seriously problematic from a virtue perspective given that five badgers are culled per cow that avoids slaughter as a result. Analysis based on other virtues strongly suggests that government should not cull badgers. The paper concludes that a virtuous government would not cull badgers as part of policy to control bovine TB in cattle. (shrink)
Bovine tuberculosis is an important animal health policy issue in Britain, which impacts farmers, the public, domestic farmed cattle and the wild badger population. The Westminster government’s badger culling policy in England, which began in 2013, has caused considerable controversy. This is in part because the Independent Scientific Group advised against culling, based on the Randomised Badger Culling Trial. Those opposed to badger culling support more stringent cattle-based measures and the vaccination of badgers. This paper argues for ethical analysis of (...) public policy options which impact sentient species. It provides a summary Animal Welfare Impact Assessment of a do-nothing approach, badger culling, and badger vaccination. A utilitarian analysis is then applied to these policy options considering human wellbeing and animal welfare. The analysis compares a badger culling policy that achieves a 19% reduction in bovine TB incidence, a badger vaccination model achieving a 12.5% reduction, and a do-nothing approach. Policy options are assessed over 9 years and a longer timeframe, and uncertainty is considered. The analysis finds that non-culling approaches, particularly badger vaccination, result in greater total utility, compared to badger culling. Badger culling causes 30% reduction in the badger population in England as well as substantial harms due to the culling process. Culling is opposed by public opinion and is associated with considerable risks and uncertainty. In contrast, non-culling approaches, such as cattle-based measures and badger vaccination, are supported by public opinion and are not associated with such risks. (shrink)
Recent developments toward a more holistic biology do not eliminate reductionism and determinism, but they do suggest more complex forms of them, in which there are multiple, interacting influences, as there are in complex or chaotic systems. Though there is a place in biology for both systemic and atomistic modes of explanation, for those with a theological perspective the shift to complex explanations in biology is often welcome. It suggests a more subtle view of divine action in which God's purposes (...) are affected through engagement with the complex systems of creation rather than by discrete interventions. It also invites us to connect the biological interdependence with the interdependence in the nature and purposes of God, and it is consonant with a mystical vision of the unity of all things. (shrink)
Bovine tuberculosis is an important and controversial animal health policy issue in England, which impacts humans, cattle and badgers. The government policy of badger culling has led to widespread opposition, in part due to the conclusions of a large field trial recommending against culling, and in part because badgers are a cherished wildlife species. Animal rights theorists argue that sentient nonhumans should be accorded fundamental rights against killing and suffering. In bovine TB policy, however, pro-culling actors claim that badgers must (...) be culled to avoid the slaughter of cattle. The first part of the paper compares AR theories of Regan, Francione, Cochrane, Garner and Donaldson and Kymlicka in the context of wildlife species. The second part of the paper applies these AR theories to bovine TB and badger control. AR theories are applied to badger control policy options of do nothing, badger culling, and badger vaccination. We conclude that AR theories are strongly opposed to badger culling. In general, culling is prohibited due to a badger’s right to life and its rights against suffering. The AR theories support a do-nothing, i.e. non-culling, non-vaccination approach to badger control. In the case of the AR theories of Regan and Francione, this is based on abolitionist positions with respect to farming. For Cochrane, Garner, and Donaldson and Kymlicka, the do-nothing policy option is preferred because badger vaccination causes a degree of suffering which generally is not for the individual’s benefit. (shrink)
Until recently, little attention has been paid in the school classroom to creationism and almost none to intelligent design. However, creationism and possibly intelligent design appear to be on the increase and there are indications that there are more countries in which schools are becoming battle-grounds over them. I begin by examining whether creationism and intelligent design are controversial issues, drawing on Robert Dearden's epistemic criterion of the controversial and more recent responses to and defences of this. I then examine (...) whether the notion of ‘worldviews’ in the context of creationism is a useful one by considering the film March of the Penguins. I conclude that the ‘worldviews’ perspective on creationism is useful for two reasons: first it indicates the difficulty of using the criterion of reason to decide whether an issue is controversial or not; secondly, it suggests that standard ways of addressing the diversity of student views in a science classroom may be inadequate. I close by examining the implications of this view for teaching in science lessons and elsewhere, for example in religious education lessons and citizenship lessons and at primary level where subject divisions cannot be made in so clear-cut a manner. (shrink)
Abstract Should schools teach about homosexuality and heterosexuality, and if so how? This paper outlines arguments both in favour of, and against, such teaching and concludes that, on balance, schools of 11?16/18?years?olds should teach about sexual orientation provided certain specified conditions are met. The author then defends the notion that to teach about sexual orientation is to teach about a controversial issue, but notes that few, if any, of the published approaches to teaching in this area treat it as such. (...) He goes on to examine both the specific aims and possible approaches to teaching about homosexuality and heterosexuality. Good teaching in this area should enable 14?16?year?old students to become better informed about people's sexual orientations; it should help them better to understand each other's positions; and it should allow them to clarify their own values and attitudes. (shrink)
This paper surveys the range of philosophical positions currently found in school sex education materials. Five main positions are identified: school sex education should not occur; school sex education should promote physical health; school sex education should promote personal autonomy ; school sex education should promote responsible sexual behaviour; school sex education should take place within a religious framework. The strengths and weaknesses of each of these positions are examined. It is argued that valid sex education in schools promotes rational (...) sexual autonomy, requires pupils to consider the needs and wishes of others, and takes place within a moral framework. The identification of the moral framework within which sex education is taught is a matter of controversy. Once this is acknowledged, possible approaches towards the balanced teaching of school sex education become easier to identify. It is suggested that teachers should adopt a position which combines elements of affirmative and procedural neutrality. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEvolution is often seen as a site of contestation within the school curriculum. The topic of evolution is therefore often considered to be ‘controversial’. I first examine what is meant by ‘controversial’ and conclude that while, in an everyday sense, the topic of evolution can indeed be considered to be controversial, this term can mislead. A more fruitful way forward may be to regard the topic of evolution as ‘sensitive’. I examine reasons why evolution might be considered sensitive – noting (...) that for a not inconsiderable number of people it is so because of a perceived conflict with religious views and also because it may be existentially disturbing for some. Rather little attention has been paid in the philosophy of education literature as to how we might deal with sensitive issues. I therefore look at what we mean by describing an issue as sensitive and at how teachers might deal in the classroom with such issues, specifically evolution. (shrink)
This article examines some selected ethical issues in human space missions including human missions to Mars, particularly the idea of a space refuge, the scientific value of space exploration, and the possibility of human gene editing for deep-space travel. Each of these issues may be used either to support or to criticize human space missions. We conclude that while these issues are complex and context-dependent, there appear to be no overwhelming obstacles such as cost effectiveness, threats to human life or (...) protection of pristine space objects, to sending humans to space and to colonize space. The article argues for the rationality of the idea of a space refuge and the defensibility of the idea of human enhancement applied to future deep-space astronauts. (shrink)
Petrovic (1999) argues that teachers need to portray homosexuality positively and must not express their beliefs against it. This rejoinder argues against this position, maintaining instead that teachers need to teach about heterosexuality and homosexuality in a balanced manner. I argue against Petrovic's position both on the grounds that it has internal weaknesses and on the grounds that its consequences would be undesirable.
Much of the science and religion debate has focussed on statistics. The chapters in this section go beyond bare statistics by examining more nuanced studies of science, religion and education with the aim of developing a deeper understanding of the issues at play when attempting to deal with the issues of science and religion in the classroom.
In a number of countries, issues to do with religion seem increasingly to be of importance in school science lessons and some other science educational settings, such as museums. This chapter begins by discussing the nature of religion and the nature of science and then looks at understandings of possible relationships between science and Christianity with particular reference to such issues as determinism, evolution and the uses to which advances in scientific knowledge may be put. It then goes on to (...) examine whether the notion of worldviews is helpful to science educators working in this area. Finally, ways of teaching science so as to take account of Christian beliefs are considered. (shrink)
The search for a worldwide environmental ethic is linked to the increase in environmental concern since the 1960s, and the recognition that environmental problems can have a global impact. Numerous people and organizations have put forward their understanding of the necessary components of such an ethic and these have converged in a series of international statements. A small number of common elements have emerged. These can be expressed in 10 ‘premises’, which may form the basis for developing into an acceptable (...) worldwide ethic, along the lines called for in the revised World Conservation Strategy, Caring for the Earth, 1991. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to clarify the ethical issuessurrounding GM crops by examining the various stages or levels intheir development, production, and consumption. Previous workabout the acceptability or non-acceptability of GM crops hastended to conflate these various levels, partly as a result ofwhich GM crops are all-too-often simply said to be ``good'''' or``bad.'''' There are, though, various problems with such a binarycategorization. I look in particular at the duties of scientists,companies, regulatory systems, farmers, retailers, and consumers.
To date, insufficient work has been carried out on how children view living organisms in the environment. In this study a large number of conversations were audio-taped and transcribed while primary age pupils observed meal worms or brine shrimps (both of which are invertebrates) during science activities. Analysis revealed the ways in which the pupils interpreted what they saw in terms of their prior experience. We discuss the implications of these and others of our findings for school education and the (...) development of children's ethical constructions of their environments. (shrink)
This book has its origins in the output from a conference that took place in Oxford in the Autumn of 2016. The conference represented a ground-breaking attempt to bring together interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners in order to have a meaningful dialogue about the many issues that surround science and religion in an educational setting. Topics that have been at the forefront of the study of science and religion, such as evolution and the origins of the Universe, were considered from new (...) perspectives. In particular, the notion of conflict as a necessary model for the relationship between science and religion was challenged and new approaches considered. Conflict itself was considered in new ways, recognising that it too can be creative and constructive if dealt with appropriately. The debates and questions relating to science and religion continue and will continue for quite some time. The work reported in this book, we believe, represents a step forward at all levels, not least the thorny problem of how we present these debates and questions to young people. (shrink)
Questions which bridge science and religion cross many boundaries, and this is especially the case in schools and other educational institutions. The boundaries that a curriculum puts around different types of knowledge and different ways of constructing knowledge work well in so many ways in education, but they can become barriers to asking and exploring questions that bridge science and religion if they become systematic and entrenched. At the heart of this book and this introductory chapter, there is a belief (...) that a model of the relationship between science and religion that presumes conflict to be the only way in which they can be viewed does neither science nor religion justice. (shrink)
Creationism and Intelligent Design.Michael J. Reiss - 2018 - In Ann Chinnery, Nuraan Davids, Naomi Hodgson, Kai Horsthemke, Viktor Johansson, Dirk Willem Postma, Claudia W. Ruitenberg, Paul Smeyers, Christiane Thompson, Joris Vlieghe, Hanan Alexander, Joop Berding, Charles Bingham, Michael Bonnett, David Bridges, Malte Brinkmann, Brian A. Brown, Carsten Bünger, Nicholas C. Burbules, Rita Casale, M. Victoria Costa, Brian Coyne, Renato Huarte Cuéllar, Stefaan E. Cuypers, Johan Dahlbeck, Suzanne de Castell, Doret de Ruyter, Samantha Deane, Sarah J. DesRoches, Eduardo Duarte, Denise Egéa, Penny Enslin, Oren Ergas, Lynn Fendler, Sheron Fraser-Burgess, Norm Friesen, Amanda Fulford, Heather Greenhalgh-Spencer, Stefan Herbrechter, Chris Higgins, Pádraig Hogan, Katariina Holma, Liz Jackson, Ronald B. Jacobson, Jennifer Jenson, Kerstin Jergus, Clarence W. Joldersma, Mark E. Jonas, Zdenko Kodelja, Wendy Kohli, Anna Kouppanou, Heikki A. Kovalainen, Lesley Le Grange, David Lewin, Tyson E. Lewis, Gerard Lum, Niclas Månsson, Christopher Martin & Jan Masschelein (eds.), International Handbook of Philosophy of Education. Springer Verlag. pp. 1247-1259.details
Until recently, little attention has been paid in the school classroom to creationism and almost none to intelligent design. However, creationism and intelligent design appear to be on the increase and there are indications that there are more countries in which schools are becoming battlegrounds over them. I begin by examining whether creationism and intelligent design are controversial issues, drawing on Robert Dearden’s epistemic criterion of the controversial and more recent responses to and defences of this. I then examine whether (...) the notion of ‘worldviews’ in the context of creationism is a useful one by considering the film March of the Penguins. I conclude that the ‘worldviews’ perspective on creationism is useful for two reasons: first, it indicates the difficulty of using the criterion of reason to decide whether an issue is controversial or not; secondly, it suggests that standard ways of addressing the diversity of student views in a science classroom may be inadequate. I close by examining the implications of this view for teaching in science lessons and elsewhere, for example in religious education lessons and at primary level where subject divisions cannot be made in so clear-cut a manner. (shrink)