SotF – Lewis Dean – A Chimp on Trial

Saturday 15 August 2015, 7:50 pm - 8:50 pm
At: Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street, EH1 1LG


Dr Lewis Dean - and Family Tree

Dr Lewis Dean – and Family Tree

Are chimps people too?

A court in America recently ruled that chimpanzees should be regarded as ‘persons’, giving them basic human rights.

But with rights come responsibilities. Could a chimp ever be guilty of a human crime?

Lewis Dean examines what we know about the mental abilities of our closest evolutionary cousins, what we still have to find out and why researchers continue to draw different conclusions from similar data. By exploring this research he’ll ask: should chimps have human rights? Could a chimp commit a human wrong?


Lewis gave us a challenging talk about animal and human intelligence in the Science Festival last year, and we’re delighted to welcome him back to the Fringe.

He is a primatologist interested in the evolution of human culture and cognition. By examining how different primate species (including chimps, capuchin monkeys, lemurs and humans) solve puzzles and learn new skills he seeks to shed light on why it is that while other species seem to have rudimentary traditions, humans have a such complex culture.

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