Media releases

  • Animal ethics organization launched by Brock University professor

    MEDIA RELEASE: R00088 – 20 April 2016
    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

    A first-of-its-kind institute to lead research, education and advocacy for animal ethics worldwide has been launched by Brock University professor David Fennell.

    Based on an interdisciplinary approach, the International Institute for Animal Ethics (IIAE) focuses on how moral knowledge and best practice can stimulate change in the use of animals primarily in the tourism industry, along with other related contexts.

    “When we place only instrumental value on animals, reducing them to objects of commerce and entertainment, we concede that suffering, poor welfare and a lack of respect is acceptable,” said Fennell, a renowned researcher, author and advocate in the areas of ecotourism, and tourism and animal ethics. Fennell is the co-director and co-founder of the IIAE along with Marloes Van de Goor, a Dutch entrepreneur who also works in the field.

    A unique aspect of the Institute is that it places emphasis on both research and practice. In support of its mission, IIAE’s programming will include:
    •    Developing the widest interdisciplinary network of scholars and professionals around the world who are researching and working in the areas of tourism and animal ethics.
    •    Writing curriculum and teaching online courses (for the general public), degree programs for students and offering certificate programs for professionals in the private, governmental and non-profit sectors.
    •    Awarding funding for graduate student and other scholarly research in the areas of animal ethics and tourism.
    •    Organizing conferences and having a presence at industry events around the world to educate industry leaders and practitioners on best practices.
    •    Consulting directly with regulatory bodies such as the World Tourism Organization (WTO) or Ministries of Tourism to help bring about significant policy change around the use of animals in tourism.

    “By harnessing the power of existing scholarly research, funding current and future innovative research, educating industry professionals and the general public and being involved in interdisciplinary conferences, IIAE is poised to lead the change on animal ethics,” Fennell said.

    IIAE will hold its first major conference June 1-3, 2017 in St. Catharines, ON Canada. Conference registration opens May 2, 2016.

    For more information on IIAE, visit

    Prof. David Fennell can be reached at or 905-688-5550 ext. 4663.

    For assistance arranging interviews:
    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University,
    905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Brock University research explains why there have been no Wall Street reforms

    MEDIA RELEASE: R00087 – 20 April 2016

    There was a public outcry. There was a financial industry commission. Yet few changes have been made on Wall Street as a result of the 2008 financial crisis.

    Brock University Assistant Professor Trish Ruebottom recently co-authored a paper on Wall Street reform that examined industry executives to understand and explain how they maintained their positions after the crisis and why the needed industry changes didn’t happen.

    In researching testimony from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and several media reports where executives spoke on behalf of their banks, Ruebottom and her co-authors found that executives spoke in a way that reaffirmed their authority and undermined their culpability in the crisis. They did so by talking about their own expertise and concern for stakeholders, while challenging the same of government and regulatory bodies.

    Not much has happened, even after a huge outcry for reforms, Ruebottom says, adding that the research shows in order for reforms to take place, another governing body needs to claim the authority.

    “Consumers themselves need to have trust in another body that’s not the Wall Street executives,” she says.

    Ruebottom says the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may be able to take on the authority necessary to challenge Wall Street executives, but this is yet to be proven.

    “The reforms can only happen if there is independent leadership and the ability to challenge the authority,” she says.

    When asked about what voters need to take into consideration in the upcoming American presidential election, Ruebottom talks about the need to look for a plan to make the reforms.

    “Bernie Sanders has been positioning himself as the independent candidate, but this is only one piece of the puzzle. He has talked about how he would not put a Goldman-Sachs person in charge of the regulatory bodies, but he hasn’t talked about who he would put in,” she says.

    Ruebottom says one key takeaway from her research is that there needs to be a space for counter-narratives wherever people have positions of power.

    Assistant Prof. Trish Ruebottom recently recorded a podcast with the Goodman School of Business discussing her research. The full audio is available for download at

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University,
    905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases