Acceptance speech by Peter Singer for the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Humanities

June 26, 2023

On June 20,  Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values, was honored at the ceremony of the 15th edition of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of  Knowledge Awards in Bilbao, Spain.  He received the award along with 17 others regarded by the Foundation as world leaders in scientific research and artistic creation.  On March 9, The BBVA Foundation announced Peter Singer and Steven Pinker (Harvard) as the 2023 award recipients in the category of the Humanities and Social Sciences "in recognition of their innovative academic contributions in the spheres of rationality and the moral domain, respectively, which have entered the mainstream of public debate." In his pre-recorded acceptance speech,  Professor Singer noted that the jury, in awarding him the prize, had stated that his work has had "major consequences for international animal welfare legislation as well as for moral progress."  He, therefore, reiterated his view that the fact that pain is experienced by a being who is not a member of our species does not justify us in ignoring or discounting it and added that while his work may have contributed to some improvements in animal welfare legislation, especially in the European Union, but that much more improvement is still needed.

Listen to Professor Singer's five-minute acceptance speech here.