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Interdisciplinary scholar examines the human animal

Laurent Dubreuil

Humans are animals – this should no longer be a controversial statement, says Laurent Dubreuil, professor of Romance studies, comparative literature and cognitive science. But what does this imply and how do we overcome the prejudices clouding the debate about the “human”? Dubreuil explores these questions in “The Human Animal,” a new episode in the “What Makes Us Human?” podcast series.

“I am advocating for a renewed dialogue between the sciences and the humanities,” says Dubreuil in the podcast. “Groundbreaking discoveries in biology, artificial intelligence and the study of cognition acquire new meanings outside of the arena of science. Similarly, philosophical and theoretical declarations on humanness or pleas for animal rights ought to be responsive to what scientific research both constructs and reveals.”

“What Makes Us Human?” from the College of Arts and Sciences showcases the newest thinking from across the disciplines about what it means to be human in the 21st century, featuring 3-4 minute audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty.

“What Makes Us Human” podcasts are available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming at, where text versions of the essays are also posted.

- Linda B. Glaser

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Jeff Tyson