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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Duane Rumbaugh’s Influence on the Science and Practice of Animal Welfare


Duane Rumbaugh’s influence on the field of comparative psychology will be long lasting and far reaching. He is best known for his continuing influence on the field of primate cognition, but his work and that of his mentees has branched out into other domains as well.  Here we will focus specifically on his influence on the field of animal welfare and how place or location has shaped those influences. In our narrative, we will describe how different people with different perspectives interfaced over the decades by virtue of sharing space. We will reflect on a range of physical spaces: field versus wild, different cities or geographical locations, laboratory versus zoo, and actual versus virtual. Geographic location, indirectly and/or directly, will shape the interactions among scientists and their perspectives and values. In particular we will focus on how developments in the 20 th Century in San Diego and Atlanta shaped the primate research community in both laboratories and zoos. We will provide the historical context and development of perspectives that have forever altered how we think of and co-exist with great apes. These interactions have yielded positive and strong connections between people that ultimately influence our understanding of and treatment of animal welfare.

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