Non-human personhood? Demanding legal rights for our next of kin – Prof Volker Sommer – 24/10/2017


Hi, everyone. This year UCL’s famed
Lunch Hour Lecture series includes a few talks
under the label ‘Encore’. A term which describes when,
after enthusiastic applause, performers return to the stage to dazzle
the audience with another performance. As an encore performer, the UCL events team invited
today’s speaker back to the lectern as his 2011 talk is among
the most watched Lunch Hour Lecture on UCL’s YouTube channel, with tens of thousands of views. The topic last time
was ‘Against Nature? Homosexuality and evolution.’ More about that in a second. Allow me first to introduce myself.
My name is Alexandra Palmer. I’m currently completing my PhD
in UCL’s Department of Anthropology. I do this under the supervision
of today’s speaker and it’s therefore my honour and
pleasure to present Volker Sommer. He is indeed a bit of UCL royalty. As a well-respected professor
of evolutionary anthropology, Volker has enriched
our beloved university with already half a dozen Lunch Hour
Lectures over the past 20 years. He studied in Germany, then went on to work in countries such
as India, the US, Thailand and Nigeria. Over the last 40 years, he has become well known for his field
studies on wild monkeys and apes. Based on his research in the jungles
of Asia and Africa, Volker was one of the first
researchers to demonstrate that same-sex sexual inclinations are
not a unique trait of human primates. Homosexual tendencies are instead
found throughout the animal kingdom. Thus, Volker early on criticised those
conservative voices who discriminate against
non-straight behaviours and identities on the alleged ground
of being against nature. If wild gorilla males
do it with each other on the slopes
of East Africa’s Virunga mountains and wild Bonobo females engage
in homosexual sex in the Congo Basin, and sacred Indian temple monkeys
get pleasure out of having sex with members of their own sex, then clearly sexual behaviour
is not a black and white affair. Instead, sexual identities are fluid and we should accept
and celebrate this natural fact in our cultural frameworks as well. Therefore, as an evolutionary
anthropologist, and – we’re in the Darwin
lecture theatre after all – Volker embodies
a decidedly gradualist view and abhors
strict dogmatic characterisations. In particular, simple binaries
such as male versus female, straight versus gay, and nature versus culture. Today, he will try to deconstruct
another outdated binary. The dichotomy of humans versus animals. He will do that by exploring the merits
and shortcomings of the emerging concept
of non-human personhood. He will ask questions such as: Is a chimpanzee a thing or a person? Is an orangutan an item of property
or a being with legal rights? Incidentally, as Volker will explain, the first non-human ape
who was granted legal rights as a non-human person
is an orangutan. This recent development
is very close to my own research as my PhD research
considers ethical perspectives related to the thousands
of unfortunate orangutans who, because their forest habitats
are being destroyed, are kept in rehabilitation centres
across Sumatra in Borneo. The question of non-human personhood
is argued across the globe by lawyers, philosophers
and scientists. What is your own position
on this debate? Are you someone that maintains
only humans can hold rights? Or do you wish to grant entitlements
to non-humans as well? Let’s welcome our competent guide
through this labyrinth of thought, who will take us on a journey
from the wilderness to the laboratory
to the courtroom, following what might be the dawn
of a new era of inclusivity. With this, over to one
of my favourite great apes, Professor Volker Sommer. Thank you so much
for the kind words. All I ever wanted to do
was run around in forests and be fascinated by wild animals. I ended up having to understand
words like this. Complicated words, which surely
have little to do with monkeys and apes? It may seem. But that’s the vocabulary, which is
emerging in the animal rights debate. Animal rights, they also pertain to myself, because I am an animal after all. You see me here, sneaking
into the picture from the left side. I wanted to be close to Darwin
on the right side. Of course, I also wanted to be close
to all my other close kin, all kinds of monkeys and apes. The difference being
that both Darwin and I are considered to be persons. We have certain rights
and entitlements. Whereas all the other primates
in the middle are basically chattel, they can be bought
and sold like furniture. One can take their life away
if one thinks that’s necessary to develop drugs
that help humans etc. However, there are people
who have questioned such an approach, and the two prominent ones,
that did that first, are Professor Peter Singer,
on the left-hand side, a philosopher, and his philosopher colleague,
Professor Paola Cavalieri. They said, okay, hang on. There has been development
over the last couple of hundred years that whoever is a human, whoever is considered
to be a human, should be included in
what’s called the community of equals. All humans are equal before the law, they all have basic rights which cannot
be taken away from them. They said, why it should only be humans
who have these rights? They called for an enlargement
of the community of equals. They started what is called
‘The Great Ape Project’. Great apes,
as I will later specify again, are certain types of primates, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans
and chimpanzees, and of course humans, who zoologically are also great apes. But only the human great apes
currently have these entitlements, meaning, at least on paper,
or in a court of law, we tend to be granted a right to life, a right to liberty, a right to bodily integrity, to autonomy, if you want, because we are persons. Those who demand that the
community of equals should be enlarged maintain that these basic rights should also be given
to our closest living relatives. The areas where this
would have legal implications are, for example: Should we allow
such animals to be kept in zoos, their whole lives behind bars
under more or less good conditions? Should it be allowed to consume them
as is done in many countries, where they are considered
to be bush meat? How about experimenting upon them
in laboratories, which is banned in quite a few countries
but not others? How about if we say
you and I need resources, we need wood for this lecture theatre, let’s cut down the trees because,
after all, these are resources and whoever the inhabitants
may be in such forests, they surely don’t have a right,
which they can bring to a court? Now, I know that
when I talk about these issues, people tend to think that it’s related
to ‘nature conservation’. Or to what you might want to call ‘preservation of species’
in the wild. It’s important to understand that
I’m talking about ‘individual rights’. I’m not talking about
the chimpanzee species or how we should protect chimpanzees
because they are beautiful animals and it’s important they are around. I’m talking about ‘individuals’
and their individual lives. That is the ‘animal rights’ perspective as opposed to
a ‘nature conservation’ perspective. When we talk about individuals, the task at hand would be to remove
what can be called legal discrimination. There have been many
legal discriminations against other humans
throughout the centuries. One famous one would be
the ideology of religionism, meaning, only if you have a certain
religion, you can do certain things. For example, before UCL
came into being, when you wanted to study
at a university in Great Britain, you had to belong
to the Anglican church. UCL was the first one who did away
with that kind of religionism because here you didn’t have
to belong to a particular creed and you could study anyway. Then, of course,
there is the ideology of racism, that ethnic groups are not entitled
to the same rights. They can be treated differently,
exploited in different ways, preferred in different ways. Then, there is the ideology
of sexism. The person you see here
is, incidentally, my daughter. Because she was born,
into a canton in Switzerland, she wouldn’t have had a right to vote. At that time, women didn’t have a right
to vote in that part of Switzerland. That has now changed. But it was clearly a case of sexism. Then we have heterosexism, where it’s all about males and females, and whoever doesn’t fit
into that black and white category has a problem –
but that’s not ‘my problem’, if I nicely fit
into the pigeon hole. All these discriminatory concepts have been questioned
throughout the centuries with more or less success. They have been brought to court by numerous lawyers
throughout the centuries. More or less strict decisions
have been made to remove these kinds of discrimination. The last frontier is the frontier of ‘speciesism’, a term coined
by Richard Ryder in Oxford, a couple of decades ago, who thought about what to call it, if just because you do not belong
to what is called the ‘human race’ or the ‘human species’, just because you’re not a human, you are not entitled
to certain privileges. He coined the term
‘speciesism’. What I’ll talk about today
is pro and con arguments for keeping our distinction between
humans and animals alive. I will present the conservative voices
and their arguments for why it’s right
to just give rights to humans. And I will present arguments
from the left spectrum, where people say: If you want
to give rights to great apes, you are as bad as any other racist, because you’re creating
a new divide, the divide between great apes
and all the other animals; that’s not really progress. Before I do that, I want to put a little bit of meat
onto the historic development of that debate. It started out
with two publications. The first one had the title,
‘The Great Ape Project’, edited by Paola Cavalieri
and Peter Singer and a lot of evolutionary biologists,
in particular, lent their voice
to that demand which Cavalieri and Singer
were furnishing. I was involved
in the year 2004, in the first court case
which was fought for a non-human ape, for a chimpanzee called Hiasl, who had been captured as a baby
after his mother had been killed in West Africa
and had been brought to Austria, where he was supposed
to be experimented upon in a biomedical lab. We fought a court case, saying that this chimpanzee
isn’t a thing, it’s not chattel, it’s not something that should be
bought and sold, but should be considered to be
a person. We fought that court case
through all the courts up to the European Human Rights Court; and we lost in every single instance. However, we were always allowed
to proceed. The judges said: ‘It’s an issue
that should be considered; although at this time, we are not
willing to consider that favourably but a higher court should decide.’ Anyway, in 2007 or so, the last appeal was lost. I then started to make more noises
in the German-speaking world, gathering compatriots in this battle, such as philosophers, and I was able to publish a book, which was supported by Germany’s largest
private science funding institution, the Volkswagen-Stiftung, a book under the title,
‘Apes Like Us’, which was distributed in Germany. Also in Germany, we modelled
a humanist association after the first humanist association, which in Britain
came up in the 19th century, with headquarters here
at Gower Street. We call our humanist association the ‘Foundation
for Evolutionary Humanism’. We have a headquarter
overlooking the Rhine River and a couple of dozen intellectuals
support the initiative. Amongst the causes
we fight for, is the cause of rights
for great apes. We produced leaflets,
we gave public talks. I had tried that already
twenty years ago. When I talked about these things
twenty years ago, it didn’t work. The audience was totally baffled,
they thought this guy was crazy. What does he want with these apes
and rights? The time wasn’t right. Since four or five years,
this has changed. When I now talk about these topics, often many people are interested. They are really fired up, by and large, they are willing
to consider it. There is clearly a zeitgeist
element to it. At least in the German-speaking world, we manage to make
a lot of headlines. The biggest newspapers
would carry these stories. They still do. The same traction is gathering speed
in the United States, for example, and also here in Britain. Increasingly, people are
putting that on the agenda. It’s debated on television and so on. The time seems to be right. What is it about this? I believe it has to do
with the queer discourse. That discourse
is about questioning boundaries. These can be boundaries between people
with different skin colour, or different sexual identities or different religious beliefs or non-religious beliefs etc. Queer studies try to understand
how much ambiguity tolerance we are willing to develop
in our approach to life. Instead of putting everything
in a category that nicely fits: Are we able to somehow
develop a mind-set, which is more gradualistic? Where the borders are not totally set? Where we recognise the rainbow of life
or the rainbow of this and that? The debate about rights for great apes
belongs in that discourse, in my opinion. I was, as has already been pointed out, drawn into that
by incidental observations, which I made in the wild, about non-straight sexual behaviour
in monkeys and apes. I published about that
and that became an argument, that in nature,
there is much more fluidity than we normally presume. With that agenda,
I then fitted my arguments for the ‘Great Ape Project’. Before I talk about the arguments, I will just introduce
the great apes. Of course, you know all their names. I’ve selected four video clips, which, I believe,
should make anybody question the assumption that these animals
are not very similar to us. And thus, we should not maintain
that they are things, or that they can be property. I start with a video about an orangutan in the wild. I’ll start with the video. Here you can see various
human-like behaviours. There’s the older orangutan who, with
a younger one, wants to cross a river. Clearly, the young one is distressed. The old one says wait a second, I have
to find out how deep the river is. He takes a stick
as is a tool, and he is gauging the depth
of the river. Interestingly,
the stick isn’t good enough, he takes a bigger stick,
because the river is even deeper. The little one is concerned. ‘ Are you going away?
Please come back.’ Now the big orangutan
will go into the middle of the river because probably in his head, he has the idea
that it’s like in a bathtub. There is a deepest point
and then it goes up again. That reflects physical intelligence. He comes back, and then
invites the young orangutan to travel across the river. Here are all kinds of features,
which, if these animals were humans, we would say: Clearly
they express compassion, they’re helpful,
they can think into the future, they plan,
they use tools. But just because they are animals,
we may say: That’s all instinct, not much is going on
in their heads. I’ll show you another example
of very human-like behaviour, a video of the bonobo, Kanzi, who has been brought up
in captivity, but in a setting, where Kanzi also has access
to a forest. This bonobo can actually play Pacman. In Pacman, you have to move the pointer so that you eat these pearls,
which give you energy, and you have to escape from monsters
who want to eat you. Kanzi perfectly well understands
what he has to do. What’s going on in his head? Isn’t that like what would be going on
in my head or your head? How can we say this is but an animal?
And that there is a sharp divide between humans and other animals? Okay, you’ve got to hide… But then, ultimately… Of course, it’s a trick
which I’m playing on you, because I’m showing you
animal behaviours, aiming to suggest:
Aren’t they like humans? But I believe that such
an intuitive approach is perfectly legitimate. In the next video,
I present to you a clip,
which we were fortunate to gather in Nigeria,
at a study site which I direct. You see a mother chimpanzee
manufacturing a stick tool to insert the tool
into this black heap, which is an assemblage
of bee nests. Inside, there is honey. She clearly understands
that she has to press hard to break through the mould. She has two offspring with her. They are very interested
in the honey. They develop all kinds
of interesting little tricks to get the honey. The older one
is a bit smarter and knows how to put her fingers,
to get some of the honey. Of course, we have known for decades, that non-human apes
may use tools to obtain food. Therefore, finally, I show a YouTube video, of a boy who fell
in a United States zoo, – boys tend to do that… -, fell into a gorilla enclosure. As you probably know,
a female gorilla then takes care
of that unconscious boy. This video illustrates that not only humans are able
to cross the species barrier. Not only humans
are able to have empathy for members of another species. It also works the other way round. The zooming-in shows how much tenderness is expressed
by the gorilla female, when she holds the unconscious boy
in her hands and arms. She transports the boy
to the back door of the enclosure where help can arrive. I just wanted to manipulate you
a bit by showing obvious examples, which blur that boundary
between the human great apes and non-human great apes. Fine, but what about
the real arguments? Isn’t that a little bit
far-fetched? First, I present a couple of arguments, which come from the conservative camp. These voices basically say: Get a grip,
that’s nonsense. One argument would be that it’s already
enough what we do. Laws aim to prevent
cruelty against animals, and that we should
save nature etc. The counter argument would be that
these are paternalistic arguments. They don’t argue
from the point of view that non-human animals
are autonomous and that they have certain
intrinsic desires and rights, which should be respected. The next argument would be
clearly apes can’t have ‘human’ rights. To which I would say, if you use the term so loosely, there are apes which have ‘human’ rights because, after all, humans are apes. Then, we could say, that’s not what was meant. Instead, apes can’t have human rights because there is a genus called ‘Homo’, to which non-human apes don’t belong. That may be, but there are geneticists,
anatomists, behavioural ecologists, who question that distinction
that chimpanzees and bonobos and perhaps also gorillas do not belong to the genus ‘Homo’. It’s actually a historical development, because people didn’t want animals
in the genus ‘Homo’. They consciously said: No, that should not be. A German scientist, named Blumenbach
made a case for it, to prevent sacrilege and blasphemy. Humans should be alone, and animals in a different genus. But that classification
is increasingly questioned. We can also say that,
linguistically, apes cannot have ‘human’ rights. But then, it’s not about ‘human’ rights, but about rights, which are
not tied to a specific species. It’s about ‘basic’ rights
which are not, by definition, only applicable to humans. Another objection could be that only humans are ‘persons’. Only persons can have rights. But there are all kinds of persons, which are the most unlikely. For example, in Christian theology, the Holy Trinity, each of these three parts, the Holy Spirit, the Son and the Father,
are separate persons. Such dogma sparked a big debate, and thousands of people
have died for the belief that these are persons. Anyway, if the Holy Trinity
can be persons, or Ryanair is a person, then clearly a gorilla might have
more claim to personhood. If we talk about rights, fair enough,
maybe a right to life – but there are all kinds of right.
A right to vote. A right to education. A right to free speech. Should there be a right to free speech
for orangutans? To which I would say, even for humans, rights are tailored
to meet specific abilities or needs. Not everybody has all the rights. If you are in prison in Britain,
you can’t vote, while you can
in other countries. There are always exceptions
to rights issues, but they don’t question the general
approach to personhood. What about that rights entail duties: Only if you fulfil duties and have responsibilities are you entitled to rights? That’s actually turning the idea
in the wrong direction. Rights are not earned. It’s not like you behave
in a certain way, and for that reason,
rights are given to you. Rights are entitlements
which are simply there for you, because you exist. You are a human and therefore, you have rights. No matter whether you can exercise
responsibility or not. And a lot of humans cannot do that. Thus, rights exist without duties
and responsibilities. What about: if you have rights,
you have responsibilities and can be punished? Same idea here. There are always exceptions. There are exceptions which say: You have broken the law but there
are mitigating circumstances for you. Finally: Animals don’t want to have rights. Therefore, they are not legally capable. They haven’t asked for it. To which one would say:
Many humans haven’t asked to have rights. For them, guardians
can take up their case and speak up for them. That would also be the legal construct
one would use in case of great ape rights. What about the argument
that it is cynical to demand rights for apes as not all humans can yet
exercise their rights? Here is a picture of the women
who were fighting to have a right to vote
in Britain. Following that argument,
they shouldn’t have done that, because at the time,
most men didn’t have a right to vote, as it was tied to owning land. Thus, it’s not wise, to say that one should wait until the
last discrimination has disappeared before one moves to the next step. If apes have rights, what about my cat or my dog, and that sooner or later, people will
come and ask for such rights? Yes, that may be. But the argument is not fielded because people say: ‘Yes, let’s consider whether
cats or dogs have rights.’ The argument is normally fielded
because it’s a conservative voice, which warns against a slippery slope. ‘Let’s not do that. Because in the end, we will
be reigned by robots and there will be a cat court
and God knows what.’ We will have to close down
all the zoos. Wouldn’t that be a problem? I’m not actually too much
of a friend of zoos as they exist currently. But the irony is, that there are thousands upon thousand
of great apes in captivity and those who would in some ways benefit from great apes
being given rights, because more resources
would be poured into that cause, are zookeepers, for example, because they would have work
for decades to come to implement these laws, as it’s not possible to release
the thousands of great apes which are in captivity
into the wild. We can’t do that because
there is no habitat left. Thus, zoos shouldn’t be afraid
of these developments taking place. Now, for the next five minutes, I move towards
the progressive objections, where animal rights advocates say: ‘You’re not going far enough, this is just rather lame
to call for rights for great apes. You are just creating a new divide. Instead of anthropocentrism, with humans
in the centre of attention, you now have ‘hominidism’. Because that’s the Latin term
referring to great apes.’ The counter-argument is that
perhaps this can be a door opener. People are probably more willing
to accept basic rights for great apes,
here in the West, than to accept basic rights
for mice or sheep. You have to start somewhere. On the other hand, nobody is prevented if I call
for rights for great apes to call for rights for other creatures,
whether they are dogs, or monkeys,
or small apes, or, what will be creatures
at some point, robots. That’s up to you. If you want to be a lobbyist
for other organisms or beings in the world, then do it. In fact, those who started
the Great Ape Project are also active in calling for rights
for other types of animals. For example, whales or elephants. These movements already exist. In India, there are laws
in various states that prohibit cow slaughter on the basis of the idea
that cows are persons. Hence, people are not prevented from
coming up with their own agenda simply because I use my energy
to fight for the rights of great apes. The next argument, which our saint
of UCL, Jeremy Bentham, was providing,
is very serious. Why only rights
for certain types of animals? It should be rights for all those
who are able to have feelings. For all those able to suffer. Here is his famous quote,
which I will read out, because it’s very important, “The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’
Nor ‘Can they talk?’ But, ‘Can they suffer?’.’ That’s a serious issue, which leads us into bigger discussions
about our lifestyle, and what we eat. Should we support
industrial production of meat? What about the dairy industry? All these billions of mammals who are slaughtered each year
to feed us. Clearly, there is
a bigger picture looming than just talking about great apes. Karl Marx had an interesting term, the commodification, meaning: We tend to be very capitalist in wanting to divide the world
into haves and have-nots, and those who ‘have’
will tend to have more rights than those who have-not. However, I could argue and say that may be so,
this is a utopian view, which Marx has, this comprehensive liberation, but maybe a more or less
is better than an all or nothing. Maybe a compromise is better
is better than an abolitionist approach. The final argument would be
that it may take forever and you will not live to see
that great apes have rights. Yes, campaigns often take decades. Campaigns against discrimination
often take decades. I started the whole thing together
with many others, twenty to thirty years ago and only now can I actually see
the first cracks in the wall. Our colleagues in Argentina,
animal rights lawyers, have fought court cases
on behalf of two great apes. The first one was an orangutan, who
originally came from Germany, Sandra. The courts in Argentina have now
granted that orangutan personhood. The same happened a while later
for a chimpanzee. There are now
already two legal persons who are non-human great apes. Other headlines announce that not only great apes can be persons. It is almost a trend
to give personhood to natural entities,
rivers, forests and so on. Maybe future generations
will be puzzled by our speciesism in much the same way as we are looking at racism,
sexism and heterosexism. That’s my prediction. With that, I’ll leave you,
hopefully very puzzled, and I thank you for your attention. Thank you very much, Volker,
for the thought-provoking talk. We’ve now got a few minutes
for questions. There are roving mics
that will come down. Please wait for the mic
before you speak. Please, one question per person
and try to keep it short. Thanks Humans are nasty enough
to other humans who supposedly have the same rights. Why would granting animals rights
make any difference? Well, it’s not good to be nasty
to other humans. Just because there is a bad example, doesn’t mean we should say
there’s nothing I can do about it. Wouldn’t it be better to say
let’s work on our nastiness? Bringing legal challenges to those
who are nasty is one way of doing it. Any other questions? I’d like to thank Professor Sommer for
the enlightening lecture. I feel confused right now
so I’ve got one question. You did mention the slippery slope, that if we were to give rights to apes
we should give them to dogs and cats and you dissuaded it. I’m not here to argue whether apes
should get rights or not, but I want to question the basis
for which they deserve the rights. Is it based on their resemblance to
humans? Therefore, apes who behave like humans,
deserve rights. Isn’t this a discrimination by itself? And where do we draw the line
for other animals? I’ll try to make that clear: I’d like the slippery slope to happen. For me, calling for rights
for great apes is hopefully putting everybody
on a slippery slope so that in the end
there will be more inclusivity. I’m an advocate, strategically,
for the slippery slope. I like to put soap onto it. One up the front here. Just on that slippery slope argument, the reduction ad absurdum of that would be how do you get the lion
to respect the rights of the wildebeest. Why do we have any obligation
to any other species more than the lion would
for the wildebeest? Of course, there will always be
areas of conflict which. Should I catch all the lions
so they don’t catch wildebeest? There will always be legal constructs
which are not perfect. That’s clear. But to use extreme arguments, to then say, for that reason, I’m allowed to take a chimpanzee
and operate upon his brain and then put that suffering chimpanzee
in a cage, which is this big,
for thirty years. That is what happens. I think I would rather err
about the rights argument, and keep the problem
of the lion for later. Let me look at the chimpanzee and bring a legal case against those
who do that to the chimpanzee. We don’t have to give an answer
to all questions in a non-contradictory way
to start to act, because that will never happen. That principle is called ‘meliorism’, to somehow make it better, knowing that our minds
will never create a world in which all contradictions disappear. One down the back. Do you not think
it’s rather prejudiced to only consider animals who feel
and have feelings, to give them rights, because some humans appear
not to feel anything! Why not just accept that if it’s living, then it has rights? Secondly, if I can, what about so-called
indigenous populations or tribal populations who traditionally hunt apes
for food and so on? What do you think about that? The first question on sentio-centrism, that you say they can feel
and so they should have rights – and that that criterion is not okay. Indeed, it’s up to us to talk
about that question, and, for example, invent a criterion
such as ‘pain-ism’. Accordingly, you may not be able to
‘feel’, but you probably can feel pain. That is another concept, which would
be even more inclusive than sentio-centrism. However, to say ‘anything that lives’
is again problematic because 90% of the body cells inside me
are other organisms, because they are one-celled bacteria
and so on. Should they have a right to live?
Should I not eat? Or should I eat more
so they multiply more? With this, we get into
all kinds of paradoxes. Whatever we do, boundaries
will in the end be necessary and they will not be
without contradictions. But that shouldn’t stop us
doing as good as we can, knowing that we will never be able
to solve all the contradictions. The question about indigenous people
who eat gorillas or chimpanzees. A similar problem would apply. If I come from a culture
where it’s perfectly acceptable to mutilate the genitals of girls, should that be respected? Or mutilate genitals of young boys,
without their consent? Societies which consider themselves
to be democratic and respecting human rights,
would say: That is not acceptable. Similarly, it’s not acceptable in this
country to torture animals, while it’s acceptable in other
countries to do that for fun. Again, decisions will have to be made for what is acceptable
and what is not. The debate will never end, but that doesn’t mean
we shouldn’t start the debate and start to act on
at least some issues. Can I please have a hand in thanking
Volker for the excellent talk.

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