Canisius Welcomes World-Renown Behavioral Biologist Frans B.M. De Waal, PhD.

Buffalo, NY – Canisius College welcomes world-renown behavioral biologist, Frans B.M. de Waal, PhD, to campus on Thursday, August 29 at 7 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center. Dr. de Waal, C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department at Emory University, will discuss “The Bonobo and the Atheist: Morality, Religion, and Prosocial Primates.” The evening, sponsored by the Canisius College Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations (ISHAR), will conclude with a book signing. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. de Waal’s newest book, The Bonobo and the Atheist (March 2013, Norton), focuses on the Bonobo, one of the great apes and one of humankind’s closest relatives. Dr. de Waal’s research shows that empathy comes naturally to a great variety of animals including humans, and that religion is not the source, but rather a way to enforce good behavior.

Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. de Waal is known for his work on the 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. Since that time, Dr. de Waal has drawn parallels between primate and human behavior, from peacemaking and morality to culture.

In 2007, Dr. de Waal was selected by Time as one of the “World’s Most Influential People Today,” and in 2011 by Discover as one of 47 (all time) Great Minds of Science. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy. Dr. de Waal received his PhD in biology and zoology from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, in 1977. He completed his postdoctoral study of chimpanzees when associated with Utrecht University, in 1981, and moved the same year to the United States.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations at (716) 888-2790.

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.