Animal Think Tank
Mark Westcombe is a director of Animal Think Tank, a UK organisation established to research and enable the application of Social Movement Theory best practice to Animal Freedom. He is interested in understanding the two dominant Social Movement Theories of Change, notably Mass Mobilising / Nonviolent Civil Disobedience and Structure-based Organising; as well as their integration as Momentum-driven Organising. Specifically, he is engaged in Narrative / Framing research; Strategic Analysis; Movement Culture; Organising methods (governance); and Leadership Development. Animal Think Tank has delivered 1 and 2-day training in Momentum-driven Theory of Change and is developing face to face and online training in other areas. They have also delivered 2 days of talks and training at London and Brighton Vegfest. Longer-term he intends to seed a UK Social Movement Organisation applying the principles of Momentum-driven organising for Animal Freedom using the Story-based Strategy, Structure and Culture DNA framework. Animal Think Tank seeded Animal Rebellion in 2019 as a pilot project to understand some of the key principles. They are currently exploring delivering a 2-week international training course in Social Movement theory best practice for 2022.
Mike Brock is a lecturer in the Economics department at UEA. Specific to the network, his interests lie in people’s attitudes to veganism & plant-based diets and how these are shaped over time. He is open to active research collaboration in this area, and has expertise in both choice and field experimentation, both of which could be viable ways to explore some of the questions above.
With a background in psychology, cognitive science, and animal behaviour and welfare science, Patrizia Setola obtained her PhD in animal ethics in 2017 from University College Dublin, with a thesis entitled 'Ethical Encounters with Sentient Others'. Her main research interests are in animal ethics, moral psychology, and animal cognition. A long-term vegan, she is also involved in animal advocacy and rescue.
Shireen Kassam is a Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College Hospital, London with a specialist interest in the treatment of patients with lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). She is also passionate about promoting plant-based nutrition for the prevention and reversal of chronic diseases and for maintaining optimal health after cancer treatment.
Shireen discovered the power of nutrition for the prevention and treatment of disease when she became vegan in 2013 and since then has been following a whole food plant-based diet. She has immersed herself in the science of nutrition and health and the overwhelming evidence supporting a whole food plant-based diet for optimal health has inspired her to combine her passion for veganism and health promotion. Shireen founded Plant-based health professionals UK in 2017, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to provide evidence-based education on whole food plant-based nutrition for health professionals and the general public. She has also been appointed Visiting Professor of Plant-Based Nutrition at Winchester University to produce high-quality education in the field of plant-based nutrition. She is a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the Vegan Society. Whether the motivation for transitioning to a plant-based diet is for the animals, the environment or personal health, education on healthy vegan diets is essential to ensure that veganism and plant-based diets can sustain the health and well-being of the population.
Silvia Caprioglio Panizza
Philosophy - (Vegan Studies Network Leader)
Silvia Caprioglio Panizza is a teaching and research fellow in Ethics at the Centre for Ethics in Public Life, University College Dublin. She is Marie Curie Fellow at the Centre for Ethics, Pardubice. Her current research combines meta-ethical questions of moral motivation and moral knowledge with questions in animal ethics, in particular, the role of attention in moral understanding, and the way moral possibilities are shaped, created, and recognised.
Silvia is active in bringing further animal ethics teaching to academic courses, schools, and public engagement events and workshop outside academia. From 2014 to 2017 she was a member of the UEA Animal Welfare Ethical Review Board (AWERB). She is open to collaborations with other philosophers and with psychologists to explore how veganism shapes one’s understanding of other animals and what is morally possible with them.
Economics - (Vegan Studies Network Coordinator)
Stefan Penczynski works as an experimental economist and analyses economic behaviour such as information disclosure, social learning, auction bidding, jury voting, and trust. Among others, his work on information disclosure investigates how well consumers understand the selected nature of the information that they passively receive from producers. This work is motivated by his understanding of the benefits of a whole-food plant-based low-fat diet; an understanding, which he obtained once he actively sought it in 2014.