Bernard Rollin, veterinary ethicist, receives lifetime achievement award

April 14, 2016

Colorado State professor honored for work with animals, including pioneering change in views of pain.

Bernard Rollin talks with Engineering Professional Leadership Institute students about the ethics of animal research in April 2014. Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.Bernard Rollin, PhD, a distinguished professor at Colorado State University, was honored in early April in Bellevue, Washington, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Research Ethics from nonprofit group Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM&R), an organization that strives to create standards and credentials in research ethics and be active in public policy.

Rollin is the first award recipient recognized for animal care and use and only the eighth person to receive the award since 2001. The award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of research ethics and, more specifically, honors people whose work has been seminal, exemplary and the embodiment of a commitment to advancing research ethics.

Rollin relaxes at home with his dogs, Molly and King. Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.Rollin arrived at CSU in 1969 to teach philosophy and began teaching courses in medical ethics. He began teaching a course in veterinary medical ethics in 1978; it is the first class of its kind at the university level, and the course has been a mandatory part of the curriculum since then. His title is professor of philosophy, animal sciences and biomedical sciences.

Rollin was instrumental in changing the way doctors thought about pain control for animals undergoing surgery. He has given 1,500 lectures around the world during his career, including providing animal welfare talks to nearly 40 veterinary medical schools and colleges in North America. He is the author or co-author of hundreds of published papers, some co-authored with his son Michael, a Denver-based psychiatrist, and 20 books.

Rollin goofs around during a photo shoot. Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.