Animals and Humans Together - Integration in Society

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             Topic of the ISAZ 2014 is the human-animal realtionship. (Credit

Topic of the ISAZ 2014 is the human-animal realtionship. (Credit: Daniel Sommer)

The 23rd international ISAZ conference "Animals and Humans Together: Integration in Society" gathers more than 200 leading scientists from all over the world to discuss the latest research in the growing field of human-animal relationships (anthrozoology) in Vienna, July 19th-22nd. The annual ISAZ meeting will be held in Austria for the first time and is devoted to the central role of human-animal interactions in society. The venue will be at the University of Vienna (UZA I, Althanstr. 14, 1090 Vienna), organised by the Human-Animal Relationships Research Group, Department of Behavioural Biology, the University of Vienna, in cooperation with the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna.

The 23rd ISAZ conference is focused at understanding one of the most important human universals: animal companionship and corresponding mutual effects between humans and animals. Accumulating scientific evidence underlines the increasing importance of humans and their animals in science and society. The conference will bring together top researchers, professionals and leaders from industry and politics to facilitate a transdisciplinary exchange on the role of humans and animals in society. The program features invited keynotes, oral presentations and poster presentations. Topics will be of interest to students, scientists and professionals working in the field of anthrozoology and related disciplines including biology, psychology, education, anthropology, sociology, humanand veterinary medicine.

Highlights of the program include a public lecture by James Serpell (University of Pennsylvania, human-animal bond from pre-history to today) and Benjamin L. Hart, (University of California, Davis, behavior of companion animals and relationships of humans to their animals) on Saturday evening, as well as plenary talks for all conference attendees by Robin Gabriels (University of Colorado, Denver, effects of equine-assisted therapy on autistic children), Rob Knight (University of Colrado, Boulder, the human biome and how it relates to pet ownership) and Kerstin Meints (University of Lincoln, UK, how people read the emotional expression of dogs).

The Human-Animal Relationships Research Group at the University of Vienna primarily investigates the social relationships between humans and their animals. These relationships are reflected in the light of evolution using behavioral, physiological and psychological methods. Recent research has provided evidence for striking similarities in mental abilities within mammals. This comparative approach allows to consider and analyse human-animal relationships as real social relationships.

The Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna is a center of competence for research into human-animal interactions. The institute’s main focus is on the interaction between humans and animals, as well as its theoretical principles in animal cognition, comparative medicine and ethics.

The International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) was formed in 1991 as a supportive organisation for the scientific and scholarly study of human-animal interactions. ISAZ is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organisation with a worldwide, multi-disciplinary membership of students, scholars and interested professionals.


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