People and Animals and Computers (and stuff) – Journal club 18.2.2011

The number of people turning up at our weekly Journal Club sessions is increasing far quicker than the number of cakes (see figure 1 for a rough estimation). However, its great to be able to get people from across many disciplines in the University together to talk about computers and stuff. This week we had Nelly Lakestani from the dept of Psychology over to talk to us about her work in the field of animal welfare.

Recently, people have become more interested in where their food comes from. Indeed, we have explored this issue ourselves in a workshop paper last year. Nelly discussed with us how the consumer focus on where meat comes from has implications on animal welfare – especially in terms of getting information to people about welfare standards. Indeed, Nelly described a survey, recently carried out by the European Comission (link), which found that people from every member state are interested in knowing more about the welfare of the animals that they end up eating. We feel that there is a role for technology in helping people find this information. Nelly is also interested in game-based education for animal welfare and introduced us to a very interesting (disturbing) game developed to teach Finnish Abbatoir workers how to humanely slaughter animals. We’ll stick the link up to that work asap!

Martin Thayne, a Lecturer in the School of Media, and whose research interests are very much in the domain of social media, also came along to his first Journal Club meeting. We look forward to seeing more of martyn over the coming months as our research interests are quite closely aligned.

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