What do dogs really think of us? What do dogs know and understand of the world? Do their emotions feel like ours? Do they love like we do?
During the 1800s, animal scientists were obsessed with questions like these.
To find answers, they toyed with dog sign language, and they made special puzzle boxes and elaborate sniff tests using old socks as they sought to reveal clues. Later, much to the horror of polite society, Pavlov and Pasteur’s search for truth drove scientists to unspeakable cruelty as they tried to find the answers to these perennial questions about the minds of dogs.
These big names in science went on to influence leagues of psychologists and animal behaviourists, all of whom failed to see what was staring them in the face: that the very methods humans used to study dogs’ minds were stopping us from seeing clearly their capacity to think, to understand, to connect. To love.
Join zoology correspondent, science-writer and broadcaster Jules Howard, author of Wonderdog, to hear the stories of a new generation of scientists who hit upon a fresh approach. By treating dogs with empathy and compassion, they discovered spectacular insights into what animals think, feel and know. In doing so, these scientists revolutionised our understanding of life’s biggest questions - how animals see the world, how they have a sense of self and what they really think about us.
This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You’ll receive a link to join a couple of days before the event takes place and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.
You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.
About the speaker
Jules Howard is a UK-based wildlife expert, zoology correspondent, science-writer and broadcaster. He is the author of four non-fiction books, including Sex on Earth and Death on Earth, the latter being shortlisted for the Royal Society of Biology Book Prize. Jules writes for the Guardian, BBC Wildlife and BBC Focus. He appears regularly on TV and radio shows, including Good Morning Britain, BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4, Springwatch Unsprung and Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. Jules also hosts and performs each year at a number of festivals and live events including Wilderness, Green Man, Blue Dot, Edinburgh International Science Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival. His warm and light-hearted delivery has seen him compared to Bill Bryson, Stephen Jay Gould and Jon Ronson.