2021 International Family Conference Keynote Speaker: Dr. Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin, PhD
Professor Colorado State University
Department of Animal Sciences
Temple Grandin may be the most famous person with autism, a condition that affects 1 in 88 children. Since her birth in 1947, our understanding of autism has undergone a great transformation, leading to more hope than ever before that we may finally learn the causes of and treatments for autism.
As a child, Temple Grandin could not speak. Her silent existence was broken only by rhythmic rocking and occasional outbursts or tantrums. Temple’s many caregivers eventually helped her contradict her doctors’ pessimistic predictions and go on to become one of the autism community’s most beloved success stories.
Temple is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us. One of the world’s leading experts in livestock facility design, over half of the cattle in North America are handled in facilities designed by her. Temple continues to be an inspiration and role model to millions. When asked why she worked so hard to be successful at her career, she simply replied “I had to prove I wasn’t stupid”. I would say she is FAR from it:
She obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College and her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University. Dr. Grandin received her Ph.D in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. Currently, Temple is a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. Just recently she was honored as one of the top 10 professors in the Country.
She has appeared on television shows such as 20/20, 48 Hours, CNN Larry King Live, PrimeTime Live, 60 Minutes, the Today Show, and many shows in other countries. She has been featured in People Magazine, the New York Times, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Time Magazine, the New York Times book review, and Discover magazine. In 2010, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people. Interviews with Dr. Grandin have been broadcast on National Public Radio and she has a 2010 TED Lecture titled “The World Needs ALL Kinds of Minds.” She has also authored over 400 articles in both scientific journals and livestock periodicals on animal handling, welfare, and facility design. She is the author of “Thinking in Pictures”, “Livestock Handling and Transport,” “Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals,” “Guide to Working with Farm Animals,” and “Humane Livestock Handling.” Her books “Animals in Translation” and “Animals Make Us Human” were both on the New York Times best seller list. “Animals Make Us Human” was also on the Canadian best seller list. Her latest book, Calling All Minds, was a New York Times best seller for middle school students. Her life story has also been made into an HBO movie titled “Temple Grandin, staring Claire Danes,” which won seven Emmy awards and a Golden Globe. The movie shows her life as a teenager and how she started her career. In 2017, she was inducted into The Women’s Hall of Fame and in 2018 made a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.