Teaching Science through History

Roger Payne & Whale Sounds

by Dustin Luwikowski

Roger PayneRoger Payne is a well-known scientist and even better known conservationist who helped initiate the "save the whales" movement. He has published many papers on whales, chemical levels in the ocean, and auditory communication and signaling in animals. As part of his work with whales, he published the top-selling recording, "Songs of the Humpback Whale". This case study focuses on Payne's journey from studying acoustics in various animals to focusing on whales and learning to make the world care about whales through their singing. It especially focuses on the role of values between Payne's conservation efforts and his scientific discoveries.

NOS features include:

  • Role of theory and prior knowledge in observations
  • Alternative explanations
  • Collaboration among scientists
  • Role of values in scientific discoveries
  • public communication of science

Download forthcoming.