Silent Partners

Linden, Author, Eugene Linden, Author Crown Publishers $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8129-1239-5
Ten years ago, their names were familiar: Washoe, Lucy, Nim, Ally and Koko, four chimpanzees and a gorilla who were successfully trained in sign language. Today they have vanished from the spotlight, as has that entire area of primate research. Linden (Apes, Men and Language has followed the language experiments from their early stages, and here tells the engrossing and disturbing story of the personal conflicts and academic infighting that spelled disaster for both humans and apes. When grant money ceased to flow to the Institute of Primate Studies in Norman, Okla., the chimps had to go. Some of the pampered celebrities were shipped off to medical labs (public outcry removed Nim and Ally from the labs to game parks); Lucy was reintroduced to the wilds of Africa (Janis Carter's work with Lucy in Gambia is worth a separate book); Washoe and Koko remain with their dedicated owners. Many behavioral scientists question the objectivity of the experimental data. Linden explores the ethical problems of animal research with special emphasis on humans' next of kin. First serial to the Atlantic. (April 30)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1986
Release date: 03/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
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