The College of Social and Behavioral Science (SBS) is collaborating with The Loft Cinema for the inaugural event in their SCIENCE ON SCREEN series. The movie “Project Nim” will be shown on Friday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. at The Loft Cinema on 3233 E. Speedway www.loftcinema.com . Regular admission prices will be charged. Following the movie will be a panel discussion by SBS faculty.
The award-winning new documentary “Project Nim” details the fascinating and heartbreaking story of Nim, the chimpanzee who, in the 1970s, became the focus of a controversial, landmark experiment that aimed to prove an ape—if raised and nurtured like a human child—could learn to communicate using sign language.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion addressing the myriad issues raised by the movie and the Nim Project itself, featuring three SBS faculty: Andy Barss, associate professor of linguistics and cognitive science; Chris Maloney, professor and head of the philosophy department; and Stacey Tecot, assistant professor of anthropology.
Barss’ research expertise includes syntax and semantics, language and cognition, and biolinguistics. Maloney studies the philosophy of the mind and cognitive science and will be discussing the ethical implications of the project. Tecot is a primatologist; one of her main interests is looking at the effects of habitat and environmental change on primate stress levels, reproduction, and behavior. In 1994, she worked with the first ape to learn sign language (Washoe).