About

BARBARA J. KING is emerita professor of anthropology at William & Mary and a freelance science writer and public speaker. The author of seven books, including the new Animals’ Best Friends: Putting Compassion to Work for Animals in Captivity and in the Wild, Barbara focuses on animal emotion and cognition, the ethics of our relationships with animals, and the evolutionary history of language, culture, and religion. Her book How Animals Grieve has been translated into 7 languages and her TED talk on animal love and grief has now received over 3 million views.

Barbara is a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient who work has appeared in Scientific American, NPR, Aeon, and Undark, and she regularly reviews books for NPR, the Washington Post, and the TLS. Barbara enjoys science outreach at events like the World Science Festival and the National Academy of Sciences’ Science & Entertainment Exchange “science speed dating” night, and through online discussions with groups interested in topics ranging from compassion for animals to ecological grief. In Virginia, she lives with her husband and rescued cats. She tweets about animals, science, and books @bjkingape.

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Barbara J. King

PHOTO CREDIT: STEPHEN SALPUKAS/COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY | DOWNLOAD LARGE IMAGE

Selected Awards & Recognition

2017

Selected by National Academy of Sciences’ “Science and Entertainment Exchange” program to participate in “science speed dating night,” Brooklyn, New York

2014

Book prize, France, Le chagrin des animaux: Prix 30 Million d’Amis “Essai” (for translation of How Animals Grieve)

2014

Scientific American article ‘When Animals Mourn’ chosen for Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014 (ed. Deborah Blum, October 2014 publication)

2008

Named Chancellor Professor of Anthropology, College of William and Mary (through retirement in 2015, when the designation shifted to Emerita Professor of Anthropology)

2007

Evolving God named ‘Top Ten Religion Book of 2007,’ American Library Association

2002

Guggenheim Fellowship (Guggenheim Foundation)

2001-2002

Selected by The Teaching Company to create and teach 12-lecture course “Primate Roots of Human Behavior” (released December 2001) and 24-lecture course “Biological Anthropology” (November 2002)

1999

Named University Professor for Teaching Excellence, William and Mary

1998

Outstanding Faculty Award, State Council for Higher Education, Virginia

1987

Weatherhead Predoctoral Fellowship, School of American Research (9 months’ residence in support of dissertation-writing)

1985-1986

National Science Foundation doctoral dissertation improvement award, $10,000, for research on learning in wild baboons, Amboseli National Park, Kenya