May 7, 2007
Time magazine names primatologist De Waal one of Top 100 of 2007
by lisa newbern
Frans de Waal, director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and a C.H. Candler Professor of Psychology at Emory, is featured in Time magazine’s “2007 Top 100: The People Who Shape Our World” special issue, which is now available on newsstands.
De Waal, a world-renowned primatologist and best-selling author, is widely recognized for his behavioral and evolutionary work with great apes as well as for his nine books, two of which The New York Times named “Notable Books of the Year.”
He began studying chimpanzees in 1975. Chimps remain the main animal model for his social reciprocity, conflict resolution and food sharing studies. He also conducts research with capuchin monkeys.
Most recently, De Waal has become interested in the origins of morality and justice in human society. In his latest book, “Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved,” he shares his belief that human morality grows from our genes and that many of the traits that define morality — empathy, reciprocity, reconciliation and consolation — can be seen in animals, most particularly in primates.
“I am extremely honored to be included among such a widely representative group of men and women who are making a difference in our world,” said De Waal. “This selection goes to show that people are thirsting to know more about human nature and that they welcome the evolutionary perspective a primatologist, like myself, brings.”
Time began its annual profile in 2004 of extraordinary people whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world. Categories include “Artists and Entertainers,” “Scientists and Thinkers,” “Leaders and Revolutionaries,” “Heroes and Pioneers” and “Builders and Titans.” De Waal joins past winners Oprah Winfrey, Bill and Melinda Gates, President Bill Clinton and Andrew von Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute.