Carl Safina is a conservationist and writer. His writing about the living world has won a MacArthur “genius” prize, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships in addition to countless awards and medals. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, Audubon, National Geographic News and Views, Huffington Post,, and numerous other publications.

He has a PhD in Ecology from Rutgers, hosted the PBS show ‘Saving the Ocean,’ and runs the nonprofit Safina Center at Stony Brook University.

He has written seven books, including Song for the Blue Ocean. We spend the majority of the conversation discussing his latest, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel. It discusses the similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness, empathy and emotional intelligence. The book is an examination of humanity’s place in the world and calls us to re-evaluate how we interact with animals.