Center for Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Studies

Frans B. M. de Waal

Professor Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal, born 1948 in the Netherlands, is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Primate Behavior in the Emory University psychology department in Atlanta, USA; and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. De Waal studied in Nijmegen, Groningen und Utrecht. In the following he worked at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center in Madison, USA. In 1990 he took his position as lecturer and researcher at Emory University in Atlanta.

In his research de Waal focuses on the social behavior of primates with special interest in phenomena such as food-sharing, social reciprocity, and conflict-resolution in primates. His recent research is aimed at questions of the origins of morality and justice in human society. He assumes that culture and morality are not merely human achievements but – at least in elementary forms – are also found among animals. His research is based on comparative analyses of the behavior of chimpanzees, bonobos, several macaque species and capuchin monkeys that give insights into the evolution of culture and morality both among animals as well as human beings.

De Waal is member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Utrecht University. He has come to be known to a broader public through his list of popular books on the behavior of apes. In 2007, he was selected by Time Magazine as one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today, and in 2011 by Discover as among 47 (all time) Great Minds of Science.

Major Publications: Peacemaking Among Primates (1989); Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals (1996); The Ape and the Sushi Master, Cultural reflections by a primatologist (2001); Our Inner Ape (2005); Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved (2006); The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society (2009).