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April 27, 2011

Author appearance

What: Scientist Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D., reads from Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals (Palgrave Macmillan), a new book about animal intelligence and emotion.

When: Friday, April 29, at 8 p.m.

Where: Books & Books Coral Gables, 265 Aragon Ave.


Scientist’s New Book Makes Case for Animal Intelligence and Emotion

Second Nature Argues for Dramatic Overhaul of Human Relationship with Animals

CORAL GABLES, Fla.—Do baboons have a keen sense of right and wrong? Do cats and dogs get their feelings hurt? Can fish feel pleasure? Find out from animal behavior expert Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D., on Friday, April 29, at 8 p.m., at Books & Books Coral Gables, 265 Aragon Ave. In his book Second Nature (Palgrave Macmillan), newly released in paperback, Dr. Balcombe makes the case that animals, once viewed only as mindless automatons, actually have rich sensory experiences and emotional complexity.

 In this trailblazing book, Dr. Balcombe, an ethologist and biologist affiliated with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, draws on new research, observational studies, and personal anecdotes to reveal the full spectrum of animal experience. Balcombe paints a new picture of the inner lives of animals that diverges from the struggle-or-perish image often presented in the popular media. He challenges traditional views of animals and spells out why the human-animal relationship needs a complete overhaul.

 “New scientific findings reveal that animals are perceptive, intelligent, and emotional in ways undreamt of a generation ago,” says Dr. Balcombe. “Our new understanding should influence how we treat other species. It’s time for a new ethic and a dramatic shift in humankind’s relationship with other animals.” 

 For more information about the author, visit www.jonathanbalcombe.com.


  • “Jonathan Balcombe is a rare being, a scientist who has escaped the narrow orthodoxies of institutional science, an intelligent human being who is more than ready to recognize intelligences of other kinds, an intuitive and empathetic observer who nevertheless does not abandon the highest standards of intellectual inquiry.” J. M. Coetzee, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and author of Disgrace
  • “Graceful prose makes this an excellent introduction to the examination of animal minds.” Booklist (February 2010)


Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.



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