Bernard Elliot Rollin
February 18, 1943
|Died||November 19, 2021 (aged 78)|
|Awards||Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Research Ethics from Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research|
|Institutions||Colorado State University|
|Animal ethics, bioethics, philosophy of mind|
Bernard Elliot Rollin (February 18, 1943 – November 19, 2021) was an American philosopher, who was emeritus professor of philosophy, animal sciences, and biomedical sciences at Colorado State University. He was considered to be the "father of veterinary medical ethics".
Bernard Elliot Rollin was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1943. He received his B.A. in philosophy from the City College of New York in 1964 and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University in 1972. Rollin met his future wife Linda while studying at the City College of New York; they married in 1964 and had one son.
In 1969, Rollin joined Colorado State University's department of philosophy. Rollin specialized in animal rights and the philosophy of consciousness, and was the author of a number of influential books in the field. His first books, which were among the first ones about animal ethics at the time, included Animal Rights and Human Morality (1981), published two years before Tom Regan's The Case for Animal Rights, and The Unheeded Cry: Animal Consciousness, Animal Pain and Scientific Change (1988). He also published Farm Animal Welfare (1995), and Science and Ethics (2006). He is also co-editor of the two-volume, The Experimental Animal in Biomedical Research (1989 and 1995). He published his memoir in 2011, Putting the Horse Before Descartes.
He was prominently featured in the film about speciesism, The Superior Human?, in which he analyzes the ideology of René Descartes to help show that animals can think and feel. He helped draft the 1985 amendments to the Animal Welfare Act. In 2016, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Research Ethics from Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research.
Rollin was a member of the Scientific Expert Advisory Council (SEAC), for Australian animal welfare group Voiceless, the animal protection institute. SEAC is a group of academics from around the world who assist Voiceless in the production of quality research and publications which expose legalized animal cruelty and inform public debate. He was also a board member of Farm Forward, a 501(c)(3) organization that implements innovative strategies to promote conscientious food choices, reduce farmed animal suffering, and advance sustainable agriculture.
In 2019, Rollin celebrated 50 years at Colorado State University. He and his wife Linda, a fellow professor in philosophy at Colorado State University, retired in December 2020.
Rollin died in Fort Collins, Colorado, on November 19, 2021, at the age of 78.