The more researchers learn about the intelligence and sentience of the animals they study, the more they're forced to confront the ethics of keeping these animals in captivity. This has proven especially true with chimpanzees, elephants, and now dolphins. Some researchers argue that dolphins are too smart to be kept in captivity. Others argue that ending captive research will prevent us from learning anything new about the minds of these animals. Where does one draw the line between ethics and knowledge, and is it possible to have both?
Join us for a spirited live chat with researchers on both sides of the issue at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 28 April on this page. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts.
Lori Marino, Ph.D.
Lori Marino is Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and a Faculty Affiliate of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. She serves as an expert witness and consultant on the effects of captivity on animals in a variety of cases and recently testified at a session of The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, about the educational claims of the zoo and aquarium industry.
Richard C. Connor
For more than 25 years Connor has worked on a unique population of Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Shark Bay, Western Australia. Connor also has a long-standing interest in theory, especially on the evolution of cooperation, altruism and mutualism and the evolution of social systems.