Lectures and Talks

Humans as Animals: Primate Politics, Culture, and Morality

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Frans de Waal May 2015

Science has uncovered major continuities between the social behavior of humans and other primates, including politics, culture, and morality. In this lecture, Frans de Waal will explore the similarities between humans and other primates in power politics, transmission of knowledge and habits, empathy, and sense of fairness.

Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch-American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. His first book, Chimpanzee Politics (1982) compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. His scientific work has been published in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and many outlets specializing in animal behavior. His popular books—translated into many languages—have made him one of the world's most visible primatologists. His latest books are The Age of Empathy (2009, Harmony) and The Bonobo and the Atheist (Norton, 2013). He is currently working on a book on animal intelligence.

Dr. de Waal is the C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University and Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was selected by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people and, in 2011, Discover named him one of the 47 great minds of science of all time.

Presented jointly with ThinkingAnimals.org