What are the moral challenges and consequences of human-animal encounters in experimental research labs? How might we think through the differences between codified, bioethical principles of animal use in science and what anthropologists reference as “ordinary” or “every day” ethics (that is, personal codes of moral conduct)? Ethnographic research in and beyond labs offers intriguing insights on the values assigned to different species, alongside variations according to one’s assigned job, and tasks, within the lab.
Lesley A Sharp, a medical anthropologist by training, is the Department Chair and Barbara Chamberlain & Helen Chamberlain Josefsberg ’30 Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College, and Senior Research Scientist in Sociomedical Sciences in the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University. She is the author of six books, of which the most recent is Animal Ethos (2019, University of California Press). She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2018-19 Wellcome Medal in medical anthropology of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.