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Page history last edited by Martin Drenthen 9 years, 1 month ago

Jac. (Sjaak) A.A. Swart


Short CV

University of Groningen: Biology, completed in 1986; Philosophy (1984: bachelor)
PhD (1990): Medical sciences in 1991. Thesis: In vivo binding to dopamine receptors in
the brain; Experiments and models in relation to positron emission tomography.
Researcher at the department of Biological Psychiatry, University of Groningen until
  Associate Professor at the Science & Society Group, Faculty of Mathematics and
Natural Sciences, employed since 1990.
  Associate Professor at Athena, VU University Amsterdam since 2008.
Committees Animal Experimentation Committee University of Groningen: 1997-2009
  National Committee Animal Biotechnology (CBD) since 2007
  Committee Genetic Modification (COGEM) since 2009
  • Coordinating editor of Restoration Ecology (for the human dimension of ecological restoration).
  • ‘DEC in discussie. De beoordeling van dierproeven in Nederland’ [DEC’s up for debate. The judgment of animal experimentation in the Netherlands’. Budel: Damon, 2004.
  • ‘Kan het ook ? Beschouwingen over alternatieven voor dierproeven’ [‘Can it be done otherwise? Essays on alternatives to animal experiments’] Budel: Damon, 2006.
  • ‘De weging gewogen. Beschouwingen over ethiek en dierproeven’ [‘Weighing the weighing. Reflections on ethics and animal experiments’] Budel: Damon, 2009.



Main topics of my environmental ethics research:
Visions of nature. This subject deals with how people think about what nature is and/or should be. Related to this issue are questions on how to deal with different visions in concrete projects on restoration and/or conservation of nature and natural areas.
Visions of sustainability. This subject is related to the visions of nature as far we deal with environmental interpretation of sustainability. However the concept of sustainability relates much stronger to social and human health issues in an international context. As with the latter topic my interest is to deal with different positions of people with respect to sustainability in concrete affairs.
Animal ethics. Animal ethics is an intriguing subject as it often challenges our human behavior towards animals in case of e.g. animal experimentation, bio-industry, biotechnology, keeping animals in circuses and zoos, (re)introduction of animal into natural areas, etc. In my view the issue of what is right or wrong also (thus not completely) depends on the contextual circumstances.
Biotechnology. Biotechnology often involves ethical issues. With respect to animal biotechnology the issues of intrinsic value and possibly suffering of involved animals is at stake. With respect to plant ethics, the positions of especially 3rd World farmers, risk issues and perceptions, and ownership of genetic resources are important topics.


Keywords: Intrinsic value, contextual ethics, visions of nature and sustainability, animal ethics, biotechnology, biodiversity.


Recent publications on environmental ethics

  • Swart J.A.A. (2009) ‘Towards an epistemology of place.’ In: M. Drenthen, J. Keulartz and J. Proctor (eds.) New visions of Nature. Dordrecht: Springer, p. 197-203.
  • Keulartz, J. & Swart, J.A.A. (2009) De intrinsieke waarde van dieren in performance praktijken. Animal Sciences Group, Wageningen University / University of Groningen. Rapport 216.
  • Keulartz, J. & Swart, J.A.A. (2009) Dieren om te plezieren? Animal Sciences Group, Wageningen University / University of Groningen. Rapport 245.
  • Swart J.A.A. (2008) ‘The ecological ethics framework. Finding our way in the ethical labyrinth of nature conservation’. Science and Engineering Ethics 14: 523-526.
  • Swart J.A.A. (2008) 'World Wide Fund for Nature'. In: J.B. Callicott, R. Frodeman, V. Davion, B.G. Norton, Bryan G. Norton, C. Palmer, and Paul B. Thompson (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy. Macmillan Publishing Company
  • Swart J.A.A.(2008) 'Visions and Scales of Nature and Society in Nature Management'. In: J. Keularz & G. Leistra (eds.) Legitimacy in European Nature Conservation Policy. Dordrecht: Springer. pp.127-136. , Incorporated, New York. pp. 412-414.
  • Swart J.A.A., Jiang J. and Ho P. (2008) 'Risk perceptions and GM crops: The case of China;' Tailoring Biotechnologies, 3(3) 11-28.
  • Swart J.A.A. & Andel J. van (2008) 'Rethinking the interface between ecology and society. The case of the cockle controversy in the Dutch Wadden Sea.' Journal of Applied Ecology, 45: 82-90.
  • Windt H.J. van der & Swart J.A.A. (2008) 'Ecological corridors, connecting science and politics: the case of the Green River in the Netherlands.' Journal of Applied Ecology, 45: 124-132.
  • Swart J.A.A. (2007) Dieren in context. Over de waarde van dieren. Pre-advies uitgebracht t.b.v. de jaarvergadering van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Bio-ethiek op 2 november 2006 . NVBE: Amsterdam.
  • Swart J.A.A. & Windt J.H. van der (2007) 'Hoe hard zijn natuurgrenzen?' Raad voor Wadden (eds,) In:Natuurgrenzen voor dagelijks gebruik. Advies over de toepassingsmogelijkheden voor natuurgrenzen. 2007/03. Raad voor de Wadden, Leeuwarden, 35-48.
  • Windt, H.J. van der, Keulartz J. & Swart J.A.A. (2007) 'Nature and landscape planning: Exploring the dynamics of valuation, the case of The Netherlands.' Landscape and Urban Planning, 79: 218-228.
  • Weinstein M.P., Baird R.C., Conover D.O., Gross M., Keulartz J., Loomis D.K., Naveh Z., Peterson S.B., Reed D.J., Roe E., Swanson R.L., Swart J.A.A., Teal J.M., Turner R.E., Windt H.J. van der (2007) 'Managing coastal resources in the 21st century'. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment , 5(1):43-48.


Contact details:
J.A.A. Swart,
Biological Centre,
University of Groningen,
PO box 14,
9750 AA Haren,
the Netherlands
Email: j.a.a.swart@rug.nl

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