Upcoming Event: Writer and Conservationist Carl Safina,
author of Beyond Words: How Animals Think and Feel
Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
Radcliffe Children’s Wing
About the Talk
Carl Safina worked with researchers who’ve spent decades studying particular families of wild elephants, wolves, and killer whales. He got to know these free-living creatures as individuals, along with their children and grandchildren. In this talk he tells us of amazing strategies and judgment calls these actual wild creatures have made to ensure their families’ survival in times of crisis.
Safina will explore similarities in our consciousness, self-awareness, empathy, non-verbal communication, imitation, teaching, and a surprisingly capacity for grief widespread among elephants, wolves, whales, and even certain birds.
The main thing that Safina will show is that animals think and feel a lot like people do—because after all, people are animals. He’ll show that their lives and their minds aren’t really too different from ours. They know who their friends are. They know who their enemies are. They have ambitions for status, and their lives follow the arc of a career. Relationships define them, as relationships define us.
About Carl Safina
Carl Safina explores how the ocean is changing, and what those changes mean for wildlife and for people. His writing conveys the scientific dimensions as well as moral and social implications of our relationship with nature.
His earlier work focused on seabird ecology, then on policy. In the 1990s, he helped lead campaigns to ban high-seas driftnets, re-write U. S. federal fisheries law, work toward international conservation of tunas, sharks, and other fishes, and achieve passage of a United Nations global fisheries treaty. Carl founded Blue Ocean Institute in 2003. The conservation non-profit recently changed its name to The Safina Center at Stony Brook University.
Carl, whose PhD in ecology is from Rutgers University, is author of six books, and more than a hundred scientific and popular publications on ecology and oceans, including featured work in National Geographic and The New York Times, and a new Foreword to Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us.
His first book, Song for the Blue Ocean, was chosen a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Los Angeles Times Best Nonfiction selection, and a Library Journal Best Science Book selection; it won him the Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction.
His second book, Eye of the Albatross, won the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing and was chosen by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine as the year’s best book for communicating science. Carl is also author of Voyage of the Turtle, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, Nina Delmar: The Great Whale Rescue, a children’s chapter book, and The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, also a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Released in 2011 was Safina’s latest book, A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout. And in 2013, his PBS television series, Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina, was broadcast to over 90 million households.
He has been profiled on Nightline and twice in the New York Times; named among “100 Notable Conservationists of the 20th Century” by Audubon Magazine; and featured on the Bill Moyers PBS special Earth on Edge. Safina has twice been a finalist for the prestigious Indianapolis Prize.
Carl has honorary doctorates from Long Island University and the State University of New York. He is the inaugural holder of the Carl Safina Endowed Research Professorship for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University ‘s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Carl co-chairs and teaches in the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at SBU.
Carl is a MacArthur Fellow, has been an elected member of The Explorers Club and a World Wildlife Fund Senior Fellow, is a recipient of the Pew Scholar’s Award in Conservation and the Environment, and a recipient of Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo’s Rabb Medal, among other honors.