Frans de Waal studies primate social behavior — how they fight and reconcile, share and cooperate.

Why you should listen

Dutch/American biologist and ethologist Frans de Waal draws parallels between primate and human behavior, from peacemaking and morality to culture. Looking at human society through the lens of animal behavior, de Waal's first book, Chimpanzee Politics (1982), compares the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People Today by Time Magazine, de Waal has written hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific articles, and his popular books have been translated in over 20 languages. He is a professor in Emory University's psychology department and Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, in Atlanta. His next book is on animal and human emotions, entitled Mama's Last Hug (Norton, 2019).

Frans de Waal’s TED talks