Scientific discoveries in recent decades have shown the lives of nonhuman animals to be far more complex than humans historically believed. Yet legal protections for many nonhumans—from cetaceans to elephants to farmed animals—have not evolved alongside this expanded knowledge. In this talk, moderated by LEAP Postgraduate Fellow Laurie Sellars, neuroscientist Lori Marino, an expert in animal behavior and intelligence, will discuss the foundational role of the science of other animals in legal efforts to protect them, including recent legislation in the U.S. and Canada. She will also present information about a new Animal Law and Science Project at George Washington University, the first academic program to bring science and animal law together in a formal way.
Lori Marino is a neuroscientist and Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at New York University. She is the founder and President of the Whale Sanctuary Project and Executive Director of The Kimmela Center for Scholarship-based Animal Advocacy. She was on the faculty at Emory University for 20 years. Her scientific work focuses on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales (as well as primates and farmed animals), and on the effects of captivity on wildlife. She has published over 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers, book chapters, and magazine articles. In 2001 she co-authored a groundbreaking study demonstrating the first conclusive evidence for mirror self-recognition in dolphins.
Dr. Marino spends a lot of her time working at the intersection of science and animal law and policy, having been an expert witness and advisor for several legal efforts for animal rights and protection, including the Nonhuman Rights Project and the Canadian Senate Bill S203, a bill that passed in 2019 banning the keeping and breeding of dolphins and whales for entertainment in Canada. She has appeared in several films and television programs, including the 2013 documentary Blackfish, about orca captivity, Long Gone Wild, the 2019 documentary on marine mammal captivity, and the 2021 film Seaspiracy.
This event is presented as part of the Law, Ethics & Animals Program’s speaker series. is co-sponsored with the Yale Animal Law Society and the Yale Sustainable Food Program.