Hominoid Psychology Research Group

Public Outreach


Educational Outreach

September 249th Annual Science Under the Stars, Durham, NC. At this interactive science festival we presented problem-solving games to children and their parents and compared their responses to those of chimps and bonobos. We also demonstrated a task that we conduct with dogs at the Canine Cognition Center to teach kids about the "genius" of dogs.

April 13Duke Alumni Weekend Kids' Science Camp, Durham, NC. We demonstrated a detour reaching task and played a risk preference game with children and their parents.

April 6NC BEST Fest, Raleigh, NC. At this interactive science festival we presented two games to children and their parents and compared their responses to those of chimps and bonobos.


Educational Outreach

October 38th Annual Science Under the Stars, Durham, NC. At this interactive science festival we presented problem-solving games to children and their parents and compared their responses to those of chimps and bonobos. We also had a dog demonstrate two tasks that are featured in tests at the Canine Cognition Center.

September 13Duke School for Children, Durham, NC. Ben & Kara gave a presentation about Roots & Shoots (the Jane Goodall Institute's Youth Empowerment Program), chimpanzees, and bonobos to a group of 5th and 6th graders. We also demonstrated a cognitive task that has been done with non-human primates.

August 22Central Park School for Children, Durham, NC. Read the children's book My Buddy, a story of a dog trained to be a service dog at Canine Companions for Independence (one of our field sites) to a first grade class. She and the class compared the skills of dogs and humans and after reading the book, Emily showed them photos of CCI dogs at work and videos of our own research with them, and other species.

July 10 – Early high school students from the Health and Science Careers Summer Program visited the DCCC for an interactive lesson on dog cognition starring Phoebe. (Courtnea Rainey and Rachna Reddy)

June 29North Carolina School of Science and Math and Duke's TIP Summer Program. Students visited the Duke Canine Cognition Center to learn more about dog cognition. Phoebe, a Hare Lab dog, demonstrated many of the experiments we perform to understand dog cognition and behavior.

May 4Forest View Elementary School, Durham, NC. Gave talk to second graders about chimpanzee and bonobo behavior.

April 27East Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill, NC. Gave talk entitled "Bonobos: evolution, altruism, and behavior."

April 21Alumni Science Festival, Duke University, Durham, NC. Presented cognition games, similar to those presented to apes, to Duke alumni and their children to see whether they could outsmart the apes.

April 18Carolina Friends School, Durham, NC. Gave enrichment program presentation on "Why be nice? The evolution of altruism and the biology of Quakerism."

March 21Pathways Health Careers Enrichment Program sponsored by the Duke AHEC Program. Presentation of dog cognition research at Duke University, Durham, NC.

March 15Wiley Elementary School Science Evening, Raleigh, NC. Presented interactive games to groups of children such as "can you tell the difference between a bonobo and a chimpanzee?"

Conservation and Welfare Outreach

September 29North Carolina Pride Festival, Durham, NC. We represented Friends of Bonobos at the 2012 North Carolina Pride Festival by marching in the parade and staffing an informational booth.

August 21North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC. Claudine Andre spoke to two audiences, one of mostly children, and the other general, about bonobo conservation and her work in DRC. Before Claudine Andre's talk, we prepared interactive cognition games for attendees that we perform with non-human apes, including those that have illustrated differences between chimpanzees and bonobos.

August 18French Embassy, Washington, DC. Helped Friends of Bonobos to arrange a public reception and film screening of Bonobo or Beny, Back to the Wild, a French feature film that depicts the work of Claudine Andre and the life of Beny, a bonobo orphaned by the bushmeat trade in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

February 21Minnetonka High School, MN. Skype with Minnetonka High School Biology Club, raising funds for Friends of Bonobos.


Education Outreach

March 30National Honor Society Lecture Series, Cary Academy, NC. Introduced bonobos to Cary Academy as a model for cooperation and empathy in solving world problems like hunger.

March 11Carolina Friends Middle School Science Day, Durham, NC. Presented differences in chimpanzee and bonobo behavior and how we might expand our idea of our own human nature by studying bonobo cooperation and empathy through interactive games and discussion.

March 10Wiley Elementary School Science Evening, Raleigh, NC. Presented problem solving games to elementary school children and their parents that we do with bonobos and chimpanzees.


November 6Friends of Bonobos Fund Raiser, Chapel Hill, NC. Presented public lecture on bonobo behavior and conservation.

October 23-24U.S. Science and Engineering Festival, Washington DC. Organized "Are you as smart as an ape?" booth.

October 20-23Pop Tech 2010, Camden, ME. Presented public lecture at Pop Tech 2010 conference, "Thinking Wrong: are humans the smartest species?"

August 24National Science Foundation, Washington, DC. Presented public “distinguished lecture” at NSF headquarters in Arlington.

August 21Ears, Nose and Paws in Carrboro, NC. Gave public Keynote address (pro bono) for first graduate of guide dogs from Ears, Nose and Paws in Carrboro.

June 1-5All Creatures Great and Smart, NY. Participated public presentation at World Science Festival session in New York.

May 27Orange County Animal Shelter in Chapel Hill, NC. Presented public lecture on dog psychology.

May 10East Chapel Hill High School, NC. Presented two guest lecturers in the Honors Biology classes.

April 14-16Primate Palooza, NC. Proposed and organized the first Primate Palooza that included public lectures on primates at Duke, the Durham Museum of Life and Sciences, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural History.

April 13Periodic Tables: Durham's Science Café, NC. Presented public lecture on “Why dogs love us” at Periodic Tables: Durham's Science Café organized by Durham Museum of Life and Science

Education Outreach

Created website www.chimpsarenotpets.com to educate the public as to why chimpanzees are not appropriate pets.

September 2010 – Received NSF funding to develop bonobo conservation curriculum and working with Durham Museum of Life & Science to create and implement in local schools.

Conservation & Welfare Outreach

November 20 – Obtained agreement from DHL to waive shipping fees of surplus medical supplies to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fall – Applied through Duke Plus Global Health Program to receive surplus medical equipment for communities in Basankusu who are helping protect the released group of bonobos we are studying.

Summer – Coordinated and funded translation of IPS guidelines into Chinese to promote welfare standards in China.

April 18 – Hosted Friends of Bonobos Board Meeting to plan this year’s conservation activity.


Outreach Lectures & Conferences

November 4, 2009 – gave public lecture at retirement home on comparisons between human and nonhuman psychology.

Summer 2009 – gave several public lectures on bonobo psychology at Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary, Kinshasa for Congolese school children.

Education Outreach

Published articles on cognitive evolution, conservation education and ape welfare aimed at high school students and the general public.

  • Woods, V. & Hare, B. 2009. Out of our minds: how did Homo sapiens come down from the trees, and why did no one follow? In: Innovative Science (M. Brockman, ed.). Vintage Books. 170-184.
  • Andre, C., Kamate, C., Mabonzo, P., Morel, D., & Hare, B. 2008. The conservation value of Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary. (Furuichi, T., Thompson, J., Eds.) The Bonobos: behavior, ecology and conservation. Springer. 303-322.

Conservation & Welfare Outreach

Fall 2009 – Group members Catherine Workman & Aaron Sandel applied to Duke Athletic department for surplus/used soccer equipment for shipment to Basankusu. Equipment was obtained, shipped and used to support the regional soccer team the "Basankusu Bonobos” in largest remaining Bonobo habitat in preparation for Bonobo release in neighboring forest.