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Bob Barker Receives Academic Honour

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7 December 2010

BOB BARKER RECEIVES ACADEMIC HONOUR

The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics has selected multi Emmy award winning television personality, philanthropist, and educational pioneer, Bob Barker, as its sixth Honorary Fellow. The award is given to outstanding individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the protection of animals.

The Centre is an international academy of scholars pioneering ethical perspectives on animals through academic research, teaching, and publication. It is the first Centre of its kind in the world and has already established a new book series on animal ethics (with Palgrave Macmillan) and is shortly to launch a new Journal of Animal Ethics with the University of Illinois Press.

Barker has pioneered the teaching of animal law in the United States by generously endowing America’s top law schools including Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Northwestern, Duke, Georgetown, Virginia and Columbia. He endowed a chair in animal rights at Drury University (his own alma mater) in 2008. These endowments have enabled for the first time hundreds of university students to study animal law and ethics.

“This award acknowledges Mr. Barker’s ground-breaking contribution to the establishment of animal studies within academia” said Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. “His pioneering work in putting animals on the intellectual agenda will be of lasting historical importance to the cause.”

“We cannot change the world for animals without also changing people’s ideas about animals. Almost single-handedly Bob’s sagacity and generosity have - in little more than a decade - propelled animals from being a marginal issue into the academic mainstream. This is a colossal achievement”, said Professor Linzey.

Barker is best known for hosting CBS’s The Price is Right from 1972 to 2007, and used his success as a platform to improve the lives of countless animals by ending each programme with the phrase "Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered." Bob Barker retired from The Price is Right in June, 2007, after 35 years as the game show’s host. The series was one of the highest rated daytime shows in the US during this entire period and the longest running game show in television history. His retirement marked the 51st anniversary of his debut on national television.

Every year the Centre invites one or more notable individuals to become Honorary Fellows. Barker joins a prestigious line up of current Honorary Fellows including the Nobel Laureate for Literature, Professor J. M. Coetzee, the distinguished international philanthropist, Dr Irene W. Crowe, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, Professor Joy Carter, Madame Jeanne Marchig, founder of the Marchig Trust for Animal Welfare, and Professor Justus George Lawler, theologian and scholar.

For more press information please contact Sam Calvert, at Samantha Calvert Marketing & PR on +44 (0)1782 505430 or +44 (0)7967 042050 or email sam@samcalvert.plus.com or Bob Barker’s PR agent, Henri Bollinger, at Henri Bollinger Associates +1 818-784-0534 or email henri@bollingerpr.com

Notes to editors

The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, founded in 2006 by its director Professor Andrew Linzey, is an independent Centre with the aim of pioneering ethical perspectives on animals through academic, research, teaching and publication. The Centre has more than 60 Fellows drawn from a variety of academic disciplines from throughout the world. For more information about the Centre and its Fellows, please see its website at www.oxfordanimalethics.com

The Centre’s current projects include a new series of fifteen books on Animal Ethics with Palgrave MacMillan publishers, a new journal called the Journal of Animal Ethics published by the University of Illinois Press from January 2011, and a university Masters degree in Animal Ethics, currently in development, which will be the first online qualification from the Centre to be available to students throughout the world.

The Revd Professor Andrew Linzey is a Member of the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford. He has written or edited 20 books, including Animal Theology (SCM Press/University of Illinois Press, 1994), Creatures of the Same God (Winchester University Press, 2007), and Why Animal Suffering Matters (Oxford University Press, 2009).

The Centre is dedicated to the memory of the celebrated Catalan philosopher José Ferrater Mora. His prodigious scholarship is widely acclaimed, and the Centre honours his name because of his outstanding contribution to humanitarian thought, particularly in the area of animal ethics.

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