Epistemic Features and the Societal Mandate in Animal Welfare Science

Birgit Benzing (doctoral project, ongoing)

This research project aims at disentangling various interdependencies between concepts, methodologies, and epistemic features in the research discipline of animal welfare science. By using this mandated science as a case example, the conflicting priorities between epistemic demands on the one hand and societal expectations on the other hand can be carved out and the project will contribute to a better understanding of science.
One focus is placed on the concept of animal welfare. Animal welfare is a term with wide usage, both scientifically and in policy, guidance, and media coverage. Even within science, the concept is used in a plurality of different ways, as there is wide agreement to understand animal welfare as a multidimensional phenomenon. In this research project, I aim to analyse the constitutive function of such a complex and comprehensive concept for scientific practice.