Reid first heard about Dr. Dagg on a Canadian radio program a few years ago. She was immediately struck by Dr. Dagg’s fascination with giraffes that began as a 3 year old child when she first saw a giraffe at a Chicago zoo. That childhood fascination turned into a serious research project in college and she eventually got her PhD for her pathbreaking work on giraffes.
Dr. Dagg was probably the first female researcher to go to Africa to study the giraffe in its natural habitat and this was before Jane Goodall went to Africa. Despite her pathbreaking research work Dr. Dagg was denied a tenure track teaching position at Canadian universities. This setback devastated her, but she fought back for her rights and lost that fight. Dr. Dagg went on to work on other subjects like discrimination against women in academia and also continued teaching. She founded a small publishing company and has authored several books. moved away from her research on giraffes.
In an interesting turn of events Dr. Dagg’s work on giraffes was re-discovered 50 years later by researchers who were influenced by her work and the seminal book she wrote on giraffes. Dr. Dagg is delighted by this new recognition and hopes to inspire a new generation of researchers she says.
We caught up with Dr. Dagg and Reid at the 2019 San Francisco Green Film Festival and spoke to them about the making of The Woman Who Loves Giraffes.
This interview aired on TV in the US.