Pathways to Animal Welfare Science: How increasing access to the discipline of animal welfare science can enhance innovation, impact and excellence.
Animal Welfare Scientists come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have raised or worked with animals their whole lives while others have little experience with animals. Some come from farms and others from cities. Some animal welfare scientists have backgrounds in veterinary medicine, animal behavior, agriculture, or biology. Others have educational backgrounds that are not directly related to animal science like public relations, engineering, psychology, food science, economics, education, or information technology. Animal welfare is a worldwide concern and draws scientists from all over the world. Animal welfare scientists work in academia, industry, and the public sector. As a whole, their varied education, experiences, cultures, beliefs, and perspectives are critical to scientific research, discussion, and policy making with regards to all categories of animal welfare.
In May 2019, the Center for Animal Welfare Science (CAWS) at Purdue co-hosted a conference with three other universities to examine ways to increase access to the field of animal welfare science, with the aim of increasing diversity and inclusiveness to improve our collective problem solving. (See the NIFA 2019 Center for Animal Welfare Science Conference website). This conference brought together a diverse group of seasoned industry and academic experts and undergraduate and graduate students. Incorporated into the theme was the idea that individual differences make a working group stronger; that diversity is necessary in decision-making. As an outcome of this conference, the series of interviews below are intended to help those who are interested in studying animal welfare science to see different pathways to participate.
When you click on the links, you will find interviews with graduate students who are members of the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science or who work for faculty who are members of the Center. Graduate students were asked to respond to several questions in hopes that their answers will help you see how others have come to study Animal Welfare Science as it relates to their career goals or areas of interest.