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Animal Intelligence Explored

Published: April 25, 2017

CHENEY, Wash.   The author of a groundbreaking book on animal intelligence shared his innovative research as part of the The President's Forum for Critical Thought at Eastern Washington University during a visit to campus and Spokane April 24-25.

Frans de Waal, PhD, is a Dutch/American biologist and one of the world's best-known primatologists. During his visit, de Waal discussed themes from his New York Times bestseller, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

He served as a guest lecturer at various EWU classes, spoke to a large gathering during a campus forum, and delivered his featured presentation in front of a full house at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox in Spokane.

Frans de Waal lecture in Walt and Myrtle Powers Reading Room

In the 1980s, de Waal began working with chimpanzees at the Yerkes Research Center at Emory University and their close relatives, bonobos, at the San Diego Zoo. In 1991, he accepted a joint position at Yerkes and in the psychology department of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His research centers on primate social behavior, including conflict resolution, cooperation, inequity aversion, and food-sharing.

Based on his work, de Waal offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we've underestimated their abilities for too long.

He is the Charles Howard Candler professor of Primate Behavior in the Emory University psychology department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, as well as the author of numerous books including Chimpanzee Politics and Our Inner Ape. His research centers on primate social behavior, including conflict resolution, cooperation, inequity aversion and food-sharing. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The President's Forum for Critical Thought is an important component of the multifaceted programming supported at EWU by the Daniel and Margaret Carper Foundation.  

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