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Meet the #Ecsite2016 Keynotes

#Ecsite2016 keynotes de Waal and Rasekoala

Science citizenship champion Dr. Elizabeth Rasekoala and primatologist Frans de Waal will be delivering this year's keynote speeches, respectively on Friday 10 June and Saturday 11 June.

Innovative narratives and frameworks for inclusive science communication: The European landscape, globalisation and international co-operation

Dr. Elizabeth Rasekoala is the President of African Gong – the Pan-African Network for the Popularisation of Science & Technology, and Science Communication. The vision of African Gong is to realise a scientifically literate African citizenry driven and powered by its ownership of scientific knowledge. African Gong’s mission is to embark and sustain African citizens and communities through science communication and the public learning and understanding of science (PLUS) on an evolving, empowering and progressive journey to own and include scientific notions in their everyday experience, so that they are better able to make informed choices and decisions that will improve the quality of their lives.

Dr Rasekoala has championed, advocated, researched, presented and written widely on diversity, sociocultural inclusion and race and gender equality issues in science communication and science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and skills development. She has provided extensive advisory and consultancy expertise to governments and multilateral international organisations over the past 15 years. She has also worked to advance the inclusion of climate change issues in the science communication discourse.

Her keynote speech is entitled: "Innovative narratives and frameworks for inclusive science communication: The European landscape, globalisation and international co-operation".

Prosocial primates: the cooperation background of our species

Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch-American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behaviour and social cognition of primates, including the study of cooperative beahaviours in these animal groups. His scientific work has been published in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and outlets specialised in animal behaviour. His popular books - translated into over twenty languages - have made him one of the world's most visible primatologists. His latest book is "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?" (Norton, 2016).

De Waal is C. H. Candler Professor in Psychology and Director of the Living Links Center at Emory University, and Distinguished Professor at Utrecht University. He has been elected to the (US) National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was selected by Time as one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today.

In his work with monkeys, apes, and elephants, de Waal has found many cases of one individual coming to another's aid in a fight, putting an arm around a previous victim of attack, or other emotional responses to the distress of others. There is also ample cooperation among them. In his keynote speech, he will review expressions of empathy in animals, which ranges from a core mechanism of emotional linkage (known as emotional contagion) to higher levels of perspective-taking and targeted helping. He will also discuss the sense of fairness in animals, and the many ways in which they achieve common goals.


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