ARC Grant Successes

5 Dec 2019

Congratulations to Deb Brown and David Pritchard for their success in the ARC Discovery Project round just announced.

Deb’s grant (with Professor Brian Key of UQ’s School of Biomedical Sciences) is on Towards Closure on the Animal Pain Debate:  

This project aims to address the question about which animals feel pain by framing multiple current debates into a single narrative focused on the fundamental principle in evolutionary biology that structure determines function. This project is significant because the question as to whether or not an animal (such as a fish or octopus) feels pain is highly contentious across both science and philosophy and arguments are plagued by simplistic anecdotes and poor analogies. The ramifications of this confusion for animal welfare and food security are considerable. Expected outcomes include the development of shared principles of reasoning and structural constraints on the attribution of pain that promise to move the debate towards consensus.

David’s is on Democratic Athens at War (with Professor Ian Worthington, Macquarie University):

From Where the Fine Warships Come: Democratic Athens at War . This project aims to transform our understanding of classical Athens. This Greek state is famous for developing democracy to an extremely high level and for being the leading cultural innovator of classical Greece. Less well known is the dark side of this success story. Athens revolutionised warfare, killing tens of thousands of combatants and civilians. There is a good case that democracy itself sustained this military record. But this case has hardly ever been studied. By filling this big gap in our knowledge this project will be highly significant. It will massively increase capacities in research training and international collaboration. The benefits will include new ideas for better understanding the wars that democracies wage today.

These grants are increasingly competitive and difficult to get, so this external recognition of the quality of the research being done by colleagues in our School is particularly gratifying. Great work, Deb and David!

Associate Professor in History & Director of Research, Andrew Bonnell