'raffes? Dagg!
January 31, 2020 8:49 PM   Subscribe

Anne Dagg has won an Order of Canada for her pioneering (and under-rewarded) studies of giraffes.

There's a recent documentary film about her; a staid review by the Christian Science Monitor, or a merrily raunchy review at boingboing.

She has written memoirs of going into giraffe territory to study their behavior (novel in the 1950s); the giraffe textbook; Animal Friendships (nonsexual bonding behavior); The Social Behavior of Older Animals; and what sounds like a takedown of terrible evopsych, Love of Shopping is Not a Gene.

Also a lot of feminist work, which doesn't seem to have stayed in print, but check out the Unpublished Works and her CV on her website.
posted by clew (7 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
"That she was also married was used as a further argument against her receiving tenure..."
posted by mightshould at 2:40 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]

In particular, she specialized in pointing out the lack of rigor in her male colleagues' work when discussing sex and gender among animals, and how that spilled over into the way the field was organized, and gender bias within research institutions and in research publishing.

Back in the 80’, Robert Darton’s The Great Cat Massacre exposed me to the idea that, any time you look at a behavior in another culture or time (or species) and say “oh, it’s obvious they are doing x, because that’s what I’d do,” you are almost always wrong. The weird and inexplicable are the entry to understanding, and certainty (at least initially) is the enemy of scholarship.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:10 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Like giraffes, it took them a long time to swallow their pride.
posted by fairmettle at 4:20 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]

Is she awesome? You bet giraffe! Head and shoulders above the rest.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:17 AM on February 1

She seems amazing, and after the trailer I want to see the full documentary.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:58 AM on February 1


Like giraffes, it took them a long time to swallow their pride.

Glad she finally got rewarded after sticking her neck out for science like that.
posted by azpenguin at 7:12 AM on February 1

Oh yay, so good to see this! Self-linking a bit of primary source fun on behalf of my colleague and I: the Anne Innis Dagg fonds at the Waterloo Digital Library, and her PhD dissertation in UWSpace.
posted by avocet at 7:44 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]

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