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Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

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De Waal to deliver Tanner Lectures, Nov. 19-20

Primatologist Frans de Waal will deliver two lectures on the theme, "How Close to the Apes? Human Behavior and Primate Evolution," at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 19-20, in Helm Auditorium, McCosh 50. These events are the annual Tanner Lectures on Human Values, sponsored by the University Center for Human Values.

De Waal was trained as a zoologist and ethologist at three Dutch universities, earning a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Utrecht. In his dissertation, he examined aggressive behavior and alliance formation in macaques. In 1975, he initiated a six-year project on the world's largest captive colony of chimpanzees at the Arnhem Zoo. The results of this work were published in 1982 under the title "Chimpanzee Politics."

In 1981, de Waal accepted a research position at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center in Madison. There he began observational and experimental studies of reconciliation behavior in monkeys. He received the Los Angeles Times Book Award for "Peacemaking Among Primates," an account of 15 years of research on conflict resolution in nonhuman primates. Since the mid-1980s, de Waal has worked with chimpanzees at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and with bonobos at the San Diego Zoo.

In 1991, de Waal accepted a joint position in the psychology department of Emory University and at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, both in Atlanta. His current interests include food sharing, social reciprocity and conflict resolution in primates as well as the origins of morality and justice in human society.

In his Tanner Lectures on Human Values, de Waal will discuss the evolutionary origins of human morality, and the implications of what we know about bonobos for models of human social evolution. De Waal has titled his first lecture "The Two Terrible Toms, or Homo Homini Lupus," and the second "On Anthropodenial, or When a Kiss Is Not a Kiss."

Four visiting scholars will deliver comments following the lectures: Philip Kitcher, professor of philosophy at Columbia University; Christine Korsgaard, the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University; Richard Wrangham, professor of biological anthropology at Harvard; and Robert Wright, an independent scholar and author of "Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny."

A public reception in Prospect House follows both lectures. For more information, visit the University Center for Human Values Web site or call 258-4798. The events, part of University's Public Lectures Series , will be Webcast live.

Contact: Tom Bartus(609) 258-3601

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