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Prof. Tetsuro Matsuzawa, President of the International Primatological Society, visits Sun Yat-sen University

Last updated :2015-12-01

Source: School of Sociology and Anthropology
Written by: Zhang Peng
Edited by: Wang Dongmei

On November 21-23, 2015, Dr. Tetsuro Matsuzawa, professor of Kyoto University, president of the International Primatological Society, general director of Japan Monkey Centre, editor-in-chief of PRIMATES, paid an academic visit to Sun Yat-sen University. During this visit, he had communication with teachers from School of Sociology and Anthropology, Department of Psychology, School of Life Sciences and Guangdong Institute of Zoology, and gave an English report entitled "Understanding Origin of the Human Mind From the Perspective of Chimpanzees" in Guangdong Science Center. The lecture was chaired by Dr. Zhang Peng, the associate professor of Department of Anthropology.

The International Primatological Society is a non-governmental academic organization aiming to promote primate research and protection worldwide. It composes of more than 6,000 scholars and conservation workers, and includes more than 10 primates societies, such as American Primatological Society and Primate Society of China.

Prof. Matsuzawa, as a world-renowned primatologist and psychologist, has been engaged in the research of non-human primate cognition and comparative psychology for 3 decades. He opened a new study field "comparative cognition science" and published hundreds of research papers in Nature and other high quality journals. He received the 'Labor Meritorious Service Award of the Japanese government' based on his outstanding achievements. In the lecture, he showed us the research progress, conservation and welfare of chimpanzees. He presented stone tool use of wild chimpanzees in Africa, instant memory of captive chimpanzee, and discussed the uniqueness of human nature based on observational facts. Besides, he also emphasized the importance of the welfare for captive animals. In the end, he called everyone to take action to protect endangered primates and their habitats. The 2.5 hours lecture not only gave us knowledge on chimpanzees and human evolution, but also enhanced everyone’s consciousness of animal welfare and conservation.

Sun Yat-sen University set up the 'Primates Research Foundation' donated by Dr. Tsang Hin-chi in 2014. The School of Sociology and Anthropology signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University in the same year. Regular exchanges and long-term joint research programs among scholars of the two institutions have been carried out. The Sumitomo Foundation of Japan initiated scholarship for undergraduate students of Sun Yat-sen University to study one year at Kyoto University since 2015. Two students were selected and sent to Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University in the first year. Prof. Matsuzawa’s visit will strengthen relationships among Sun Yat-sen University, Japan's Kyoto University and International Primatological Society.