DySoC Welcomes Renowned Primatologist Frans de Waal

Dr. Frans de Waal

The Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC) at NIMBioS is pleased to host world-renowned primatologist Frans de Waal for a talk next month on animal emotion and empathy ahead of his much-anticipated new book, to be published in March.

Drawing upon his decades of research on empathy and the perception of emotion in primates, de Waal’s talk will make the point that the study of animal emotion is a necessary complement to the study of behavior.

The talk, “Animal Emotions and Empathy,” will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14. Full details at http://www.dysoc.org/seminars

A leading voice in uncovering the emotional world of primates and parallels in humans, de Waal is credited with the discovery of conflict resolution among primates. His work has inspired the field of primate cognition as it relates to cooperation, altruism, and fairness.

An engaging science writer and one of the world’s most visible primatologists, de Waal is the author of 13 books, which have been translated into 20 languages. He is widely known for such books as “Chimpanzee Politics,” “Peacemaking Among Primates,” “The Age of Empathy,” “The Bonobo and the Atheist,” and New York Times bestseller, “Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are?”.

Of de Waal’s most recent book, “Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves” (Norton, March 2019), New York Times best-selling author Yuval Noah Harari writes: “A captivating and big-hearted book full of compassion and brimming with insights about the lives of animals, including human ones.”

The book will be available for sale at the talk, and de Waal will sign books following his talk.

De Waal is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Primate Behavior at Emory University where he directs the university’s Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, one of the world’s foremost centers for research on primate behavior.

Involved in NIMBioS activities since the start, de Waal participated in the first Working Group, on Coalitions and Alliances, which met in 2009 and 2010. During his visit in February, he will participate as a co-organizer of the DySoC/NIMBioS Investigative Workshop on Human Origins 2021.

De Waal is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people and listed by Discover Magazine among its all-time “Great Minds of Science.” He has received a Los Angeles Times Book Award (for his 1989 work, Peacemaking among Primates), the American Psychological Foundation’s Arthur W. Staats Award, and the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s Technology Pioneer Award.

Recognized by the American Society of Primatologists as a “Distinguished Primatologist,” de Waal is the editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Behaviour.

De Waal completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Nijmegen, began graduate studies at the University of Groningen, and received a Ph.D. in biology from Utrecht University, where he is a distinguished university professor.

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