Robert C. O’Brien (Robert Conly) and Caroline Earle White
“Brain without heart is far more dangerous than heart without brain.”
Robert G. Ingersoll
This site is dedicated to the works of Robert Conly (better known as Robert C. O’Brien) and the life and work of Caroline Earle White – one of the first three to found an animal humane society in the United States and the first to establish an anti-vivisection society. It was created because I wanted to share all of the things I have learned during my years of research on these two amazing individuals.
Two years ago,* I spent a week in Bethesda, MD. My reason for going? To spend a week at the National Library of Medicine to research Dr. John B. Calhoun, one of the inspirations for “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” by Robert C. O’Brien (Robert Conly). I had been on the research trail… Continue reading The Rats of NIMH, Dr. John B. Calhoun, and “The Compassionate-Systems Revolution of 2018 A.D.”
A Report from Group 17 was Robert Conly’s only book written for a strictly adult audience. A thriller and commentary on the dangers of biological/biochemical warfare, it also features the kind of human touch you’d expect from a Conly book – and a tough female character, of course. As a newspaper man, Conly was well-informed… Continue reading “A Report from Group 17”
Newsflash: People Can Read Your Work if You Make it Accessible – “Mrs. Frisby” Thesis and Annotations as Downloads
Hello! Just wanted to send out an update that I have added my thesis and personal annotations for Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH to this site directly. I belatedly realized scribd was a subscription service. If you’re still interested… here are the docs: The Book of Nicodemus and Other Apocrypha: The Works of… Continue reading Newsflash: People Can Read Your Work if You Make it Accessible – “Mrs. Frisby” Thesis and Annotations as Downloads
The Old Grey Mare – America’s Old Brown Dog Misogyny and Medicine: Anti-Vivisectionist Caroline Earle White in the Gilded Age I was astounded to find this out on the web! It’s just the PowerPoint in terms of visuals, but this was the result of my funded research trip to Philadelphia. I hope you enjoy it!… Continue reading Capstone Presentation on Caroline Earle White – Advocate for Animals
It’s been a couple of years since I visited the National Library of Medicine to study Dr. John B. Calhoun, one of the “inspirations” Robert C. O’Brien (Robert Conly) mentioned as leading to his book, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I spent a lot of time thinking about what Calhoun was like. I… Continue reading “Perfectly healthy… except for being dead.”
Well, here I was thinking that I was overdue for a new post and, lo and behold, National Geographic pops up with this. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/03/rats-empathy-brains-harm-aversion/?fbclid=IwAR1_oy0GJZItPEixGltFnDFKkTQXC3RwSh6_cowygTsIXVl_QuGjLITtImw Did you know that Robert Conly (Robert C. O’Brien) worked for the National Geographic Society? Did you also know that his book was at least partially inspired by the work of… Continue reading “Rats Avoid Harming Each Other” National Geographic Comes Full Circle, in a Way
I first became familiar with the idea of formalized humane education when I studied Caroline Earle White during my undergraduate studies in history. White and others sought to increase the power and presence of kindness in society by reaching out to children and teaching them compassion and empathy at an early age. Perhaps the most… Continue reading Making Humane Education a Reality: The Institute for Humane Education
I’ve finally decided to extract just the Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH chapter of my thesis for your viewing pleasure. After all, since science has recently revealed that they’ve trained rats to drive cars to get food ( https://www.newscientist.com/article/2220721-scientists-have-trained-rats-to-drive-tiny-cars-to-collect-food/?utm_medium=SOC&utm_source=Twitter ), I felt like it was important to mention that it was O’Brien’s rats… Continue reading Just the Rats (of NIMH), M’am. Just the Rats
“Inhumane Humanitarianism:” The Work of Caroline Earle White and H.G. Wells “Many good people who abhor ordinary cruelty stultify their judgment concerning the extraordinary and feel rebuked when “the good of humanity” is hurdled at them as a telling argument; and when it is hinted that they are hysterical and indulge sickly sentimentality, they are… Continue reading A Tale of Two Islands
On a fateful day in 2013, a new adventure started for me. I had already been a rat advocate, as well as adoring other rodents, but I took a little course called “Animals and Human Civilization” – taught by the amazing Boria Sax (check out his books!). We had to pick out a book to… Continue reading I LOVE rats and rodents – There, I said it.