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Thank You to our Sponsors!

Agnes Scott College Atlanta Pro AV City of Decatur Emory University Jabian Lenz Marketing Mail Chimp Public Broadcasting Atlanta

Anonymous

Book Logix Publishing Services
Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta
DeKalb County Public Library
Emory Libraries
Georgia State University
Verb
Visit South Walton
The Art Institute of Atlanta - Decatur
Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center
Atlanta History Center
Atlanta Writers Club
Carlos Museum
Champion Windows
Classis Tents and Events

Dawn and Lee Walker Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Decatur Arts Alliance
Decatur Education Foundation
Decatur Rotary Club
Devry
Georgia Antiquarian Booksellers Association
Georgia Humanities Council
Georgia Tech Library

The Hightower Fund

Jim Ellis
Ketel One
M.L. Malcolm
On the Same Page
Sparkling Ice
Uber
UGA Press

Virginia Morell

Festival Appearance:

Virginia Morell is an acclaimed science journalist and author. A contributing correspondent for Science, she has covered evolutionary and conservation biology since 1990. Morell is also a regular contributor to National Geographic and Conde Nast Traveler. In addition to her journalistic work, Morell is the author of three celebrated books. The New York Times awarded a Notable Book of the Year to Ancestral Passions , her dramatic biography of the famed Leakey family and their notable findings. Blue Nile, about her journey down the Blue Nile to Sudan, was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Travel Book. And The Washington Post listed Wildlife Wars, which she co-authored with Richard Leakey, as one of their Best Books of the Year. An accomplished public speaker, Morell spent March 2009 as a principal lecturer for National Geographic Society’s Expeditions Program on one of its exclusive, round-the-world trips. She lives in Ashland, OR, with her husband, writer Michael McRae.

Books

Animal Wise

Animal Wise, 2013

Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals. Did you know that ants teach, earthworms make decisions, rats love to be tickled, and chimps grieve? Did you know that some dogs have thousand-word vocabularies and that birds practice songs in their sleep? That crows improvise tools, blue jays plan ahead, and moths remember living as caterpillars? Animal Wise takes us on a dazzling odyssey into the inner world of animals, from ants to elephants to wolves, and from sharp-shooting archer fish to pods of dolphins that rumble like rival street gangs. With 30 years of experience covering the sciences, Morell uses her formidable gifts as a story-teller to transport us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to pioneering animal-cognition researchers and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects. She explores how this rapidly evolving, controversial field has only recently overturned old notions about why animals behave as they do. She probes the moral and ethical dilemmas of recognizing that even “lesser animals” have cognitive abilities such as memory, feelings, personality, and self-awareness--traits that many in the twentieth century felt were unique to human beings. By standing behaviorism on its head, Morell brings the world of nature brilliantly alive in a nuanced, deeply felt appreciation of the human-animal bond, and she shares her admiration for the men and women who have simultaneously chipped away at what we think makes us distinctive while offering a glimpse of where our own abilities come from.