What Would You Like to ask Irene Pepperberg?

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I am attending a book tour reading by researcher, Irene Pepperberg, that is promoting her new book, Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence — and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process, this Sunday evening, 2 November, in NYC. I have been trying to arrange an interview with her, and still have no idea if it will happen, but if I do manage to interview her, what questions would you like to ask her?


Unfortunately, even though I reviewed the early promotional pre-release of her book seven months ago, I still have not seen her finished book, so I cannot tell you anything about it beyond what is in the review itself. Considering that Collins, the publishers, purchased the top banner advertizing space on ScienceBlogs to promote this book, the fact that they so easily overlooked me, a parrot researcher, parrot owner and breeder, and prolific amateur book reviewer here at ScienceBlogs, is (in my opinion), inexcusable.
But alas, that’s life. At least my readers are looking out for me: one of my local readers purchased a ticket to Pepperberg’s appearance so I could be there! So I am going to make the most of this opportunity by asking as many of your questions of Irene as I can, and then I will tell you about it.

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About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to What Would You Like to ask Irene Pepperberg?

  1. Bob O'H says:

    I guess it would be impolite to ask if Irene would like a cracker.
    I guess it would be even more impolite to ask her who came up with that awful subtitle for her book. It would actually put me off from reading it.

  2. I would love to know how to develop a similar level of communication with my parrot – even if only know, before wasting ’em, when she is sick and tired of green beans, or if she’d rather have hot sauce or garlic on her dinner tonight.
    Seriously. Facing the prospect of the rest of my life with a always 3 year old feathered kid – these are important things to know.

  3. Gretchen says:

    What’s your address? I’m her publicist, I’ll send you a copy of the book. Sorry to overlook you.

  4. Carol says:

    I have alwasy wondered if the birds were all alone at night. Our Birdo is most insistent about everyone in place and “all is right in the world” before crooning into sleep. Providing emotional security during those hours could be a critical component of avain care.

  5. thanks gretchen, i will send my mailing address to you today (now that i finally have a decent wireless connection). for the record, my mailing address is also on my blog, under the top bar “contact” under my banner.
    okay, outside of green beans and such, i am thinking i’d like to ask irene this question: “in view of all the thousands of African grey parrots that never talk, do you think was Alex a genius? or do you think that all greys will be motivated to talk if trained using your “rival” method?”