chapter  18
13 Pages

The Human-Animal Boundary in Switzerland: A Cross-Cultural Perspective


The empirical research conducted on science-society relations over the past three decades has pointed out various explanatory factors such as scientifi c knowledge (Evans and Durant, 1995; Miller and Pardo, 2000), trust (Priest et al., 2003; Crettaz von Roten et al., 2003), and values related to nature (Gaskell et al., 2005; Peters et al., 2007). In their review of the fi eld, Bauer et al. (2007: 88) suggest the interpretation of these results as “indicators of the cultural climate”, therefore reconsidering the unit of analysis. As Switzerland lies at the crossroads of three cultures (French-, German-, and Italian-speaking culture), the purpose of this chapter is to map out cultural differences in perceptions of animals and nature among the three linguistic regions to improve our understanding of the relationship between science and society.