The First Annual Tom Regan Visiting Research Fellow Announced

The NC State University Libraries has awarded the first annual Tom Regan Visiting Research Fellowship to Rachel Robison-Greene, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Utah State University researching the in vitro meat revolution.

The fellowship was established through the generosity of the Culture & Animals Foundation in memory of Tom Regan to promote scholarly research in animal rights. The fellowship supports the use of the Special Collection Research Center’s Animal Rights Archive—the largest scholarly archive of animal rights collections in the country. The fellowship provides a $4,000 stipend for research completed in residence at the SCRC.

Rachel Robison-Greene received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2018. Her dissertation was an exploration of the role of reflective endorsement in understanding the self and in judgments about what ought to be done. She is a regular columnist for the ethics periodical The Prindle Post, where she writes primarily about animal ethics, environmental ethics, and the ethical dilemmas we face as a result of emerging technologies. She is currently working on a book titled Under A Suitable Medium: Critically Analyzing the In Vitro Meat Revolution. She is the co-host of the popular culture and philosophy podcast, I Think, Therefore I Fan. Robison-Greene also sits on the Executive Board for the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

Robison-Greene describes her research project as follows:

In Under A Suitable Medium: Critically Analyzing the In Vitro Meat Revolution, I consider the philosophical dimensions, and in particular, the moral dimensions of cultured meat. In the early chapters of the book, I explicate the lessons to be learned from both rights-based and utilitarian approaches to the treatment of animals, and I apply those lessons to the issue of in vitro meat. I consider the moral scope of this form of meat production—we could use this technology to produce meat of any type without harming the creatures involved. The possibilities raised by this technology allow us to see more clearly, using a wide range of test cases, what, if anything, is wrong with the consumption of flesh from various origins. I will consider whether there are morally relevant distinctions to be made. I raise the question of whether providing new market alternatives is the best way to bring about moral change and suggest some answers. Ultimately, I argue that the notion of “edibility” has a moral component and that changes in the way that food is produced call for a dramatic revision of how we understand the notion of “edibility.”

I was very excited to see the announcement for the Tom Regan Visiting Research Fellowship. I have long been strongly influenced by the work of Regan. I’ve taught his work every semester in my ethics classes over the past eight years. His work has been very important to my research as well. I [am] delighted to have the opportunity to immerse myself further in Regan’s work, and to have access to the Animal Rights Archive.