Photo by: Purwo Kuncoro

Event: Frans de Waal discusses gender through the eyes of a primatologist

See world-renowned primatologist Dr. Frans de Waal’s first public lecture on his new book Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist at The Leakey Foundation’s first hybrid event on April 5, 2022.

How different are men and women? Do they differ naturally or artificially? Do we find the same differences in our fellow primates? Do apes learn sex roles, too, or is gender uniquely human?

In this hybrid lecture, Dr. Frans de Waal discusses insights into the origins of sex and gender from studies of both human and animal behavior.


How can you see this event?

Different is The Leakey Foundation’s first hybrid event and is held in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences and the Commonwealth Club. There are two ways you can see this event:

In-Person – This lecture will be held in-person at the Commonwealth Club’s headquarters in San Francisco. The capacity for the in-person component of this program is reduced to meet COVID guidelines, so be sure to purchase your ticket early! Click here to secure your in-person ticket

Online – This lecture will be simultaneously broadcast online so that viewers can see the lecture live from the comfort of their homes. You must pre-register for online-only viewing to get access to the live-stream link. Click here to register for the online-only lecture

Signed copy of Different Tickets including a signed copy of Dr. de Waal’s book Different are offered for both In-Person and Online-Only ticket types. If you want to get a signed copy of Dr. de Waal’s new book be sure to select the ticket option including the book when you purchase tickets!


More about the book Different

Book cover for Dr. Frans de Waal's book Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist

Different provides a thought-provoking review of the long-running debate about the origins of sex and gender. Dr. de Waal peppers his discussion with details from his own life – a Dutch childhood in a family of six boys and decades of academic turf wars over outdated scientific theories. He also discusses sexual orientation, gender identity, and the limitations of a strict binary. Nature produces more variability than most human societies are prepared to recognize, and primate groups often include exceptional individuals.


More about Dr. Frans de Waal

Primatologist Frans de Waal

Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. His first book, Chimpanzee Politics (1982), compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. His scientific work has been published in hundreds of technical articles in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and outlets specialized in animal behavior. His popular books – translated into 20+ languages – have made him one of the world’s most visible primatologists. His latest two books are Mama’s Last Hug (Norton, 2019) and Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist (Norton, 2022). De Waal is C. H. Candler Professor Emeritus at Emory University and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Utrecht University. He has been elected to the (US) National Academy of Sciences as well as the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2007, Time declared him one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today.


This event is produced in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences and Commonwealth Club of California.

Sponsored by:
Ann and Gordon Getty
Camilla and George Smith
The Joan and Arnold Travis Education Fund



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