Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves

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Date: Thursday, March 21, 2018

Time: Doors open at 6:00pm, Meetup Group at 6:30pm, Event starts at 7:00pm. Meet inside the theater at 6:30pm to talk with your fellow group members for a bit before the show starts. Look for the Meetup sign.

Location: Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR

Cost: $15* general admission, $36 ticket + book, $8 students with ID. All ages.
Buy Online or at the Aladdin box office

Please Note: RSVP-ing "yes" to these events does not automatically get you in the door. You must either purchase tickets in advance (ticket details above), or if we have not sold out, you may buy tickets at the door.

Food & Drink: Beer, wine, popcorn, hand pies, and an assortment of sweets and snacks available.

Event Description:
New York Times best-selling author and primatologist Frans de Waal explores the fascinating world of animal and human emotions in his new book Mama’s Last Hug. ( It opens with the dramatic farewell between Mama, a dying fifty-nine-year-old chimpanzee matriarch, and biologist Jan Van Hooff. This heartfelt final meeting of two longtime friends, widely shared as a video, offers a window into how deep and instantly recognizable these bonds can be. So begins Frans de Waal’s whirlwind tour of new ideas and findings about animal emotions, based on his renowned studies of the social and emotional lives of chimpanzees, bonobos, and other primates.

At this special Science on Tap, join us for De Waal’s discussion of facial expressions, animal sentience and consciousness, Mama’s life and death, the emotional side of human politics, and the illusion of free will. Learn how he distinguishes between emotions and feelings, all the while emphasizing the continuity between our species and other species. Hear about his radical proposal that emotions are like organs: we don’t have a single organ that other animals don’t have, and the same is true for our emotions.

Frans de Waal has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. (,28804,1595326_1595329_1616472,00.html). The author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, ( among many other works, he is the C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University’s Psychology Department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. ( He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Books will be available for sale and signing courtesy of Broadway Books.

Event Website:


*A note on the ticket price: Science on Tap is largely supported by money collected at the door, and this theater is larger and more expensive than our previous venues. We are committed to offering educational opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if the ticket price is a hardship for you, please contact [masked] for reduced-price tickets.