'Love, Sex, and Lies in the Jungle'

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 23, 2008 9:46 am

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg.jpegMeet Vanessa Woods… internationally published author, journalist, and [full disclosure] among my most interesting friends. I’ve just finished her latest book ‘It’s Every Monkey For Themselves: A true story of love sex and lies in the jungle‘ and cannot recommend it highly enough–An honest, funny, and poignant account of her research in Costa Rica with capuchin monkeys, it’s the tale of a brave, independent, and fascinating young woman as she learns about life; kind of like Sex And The City meets Gorillas in the Mist. Her witty commentary and incisive perspectives kept me turning pages and sometimes wondering how she survived. I haven’t enjoyed a read this much in years.

Unfortunately for me, but lucky for readers, Vanessa is off to Congo with her husband, professor of biological anthropology and anatomy at Duke, Dr. Brian Hare, to study chimps and bonobos. And while I’m going to miss them, the good news is all of us can follow their adventures at Bonobo Handshake, Vanessa’s Congo blog:

Imagine a relative who thinks sex is like a handshake. Who organises orgies with the neighbours, doesn’t mind if their partner sleeps around, and firmly believes females should be in charge of everything. Imagine there was a whole tribe of these relatives – crazy yes? But definitely a lot of fun.

Brian and Vanessa will begin at Point-Noire in the Republic of Congo, head to Brazzaville, and finally travel across the Congo River to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Lola Ya Bonobo sanctuary. [I hope readers will consider adopting a bonobo to help support this wonderful organization].

The Intersection will be checking in with Bonobo Handshake throughout the summer, but in the mean time, you can read more about Vanessa in her interview over at Bora’s place.


CATEGORIZED UNDER: Media and Science

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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.com For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.


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