29 Why Scientific Literacy Matters to Our Animals

29 Why Scientific Literacy Matters to Our Animals

This podcast episode is a wide ranging topic on the concept of how understanding how our brain is wired for thought helps the animals in our care as well as conservation.

From concepts of how we handle behavior questions we don’t know the answer to all the way to consuming information on documentaries, we look at how asking questions and filling in the picture can help us understand how science works and how the natural world is still very much a part of who we still are, technology and all.

This means that whether you play with your dog, train your parrot, go to bird training conference, or aren’t sure where the science stands on the benefits of coffee, there is a way that science works that can help us adjust our paradigm to ask the questions that will lead us to our answers.


Three topics regarding Scientific Literacy covered by Hillary:

  1. Emotion Based Decisions
  2. Our brains are not equipped to deal with abstracts like statistics and probability
  3. We are designed to think that we are special and have a unique quality.


Hillary’s musings on Scientific Literacy covered in the podcast:

  • A good sailor knows you can not change the direction of the wind. A good sailor knows you adjust your sails
    to reach your destination.
  • If we are holding ourselves and others to impossible standards, that does not propel behavioral science forward.
  • More training and more tools gives more experience how to use different tools.
  • Learning to lead with questions versus answers.
  • Curiosity is a strength.
  • We can measure the impact that our existence has on animals, that we don’t see.
  • I’m going to support the right behaviors that I want to see – the science of animal training.
  • Animals do not have the same moral code that we do and assigning one can be dangerous.
  • Documentaries are a big area of where our scientific literacy or illiteracy shows up.
  • Ask BEFORE we react.
  • Nature is not BINARY.


References from Hillary:

Article: Humanity and Nature

Article: The Problem with Nature Documentaries

Podcast: You’re Wrong About: Koko the Gorilla 

Podcast: Tooth and Claw

Neil deGrasse Tyson: MasterClass


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