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Learn to listen like a whale — a night whale spent

The Explorers Club invites you to an evening in the company of whales, those that know them intimately and scientists working to decipher their communications.

Join us on Wednesday evening, September 7th, the same day as the global launch of the acclaimed new book How To Speak Whale, A Voyage into the Future of Animal Communication.

This book offers a thrilling investigation into the pioneering world of animal communication, where big data and artificial intelligence are changing our relationship with animals forever.

To celebrate we are throwing a whale listening party, hosted by the author, Tom Mustill and featuring some of the world’s top cetacean experts.

The evening will begin with a Whale Song Bath. Sit back, close your eyes and be transported on a guided listening journey taking in all members of the cetacean orchestra, including new scientific recordings from the deep. The sound bath will be live mixed by DJ Sketchy, co-founder of MIXCLOUD.

Then our all-star panel will present discoveries from the frontiers of whale and dolphin biology, where AI and robots meet marine megafauna.

Date: Wednesday, September 7

Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Program

Tickets: $15 for Members and $30 for the General Public.



  • Prof Joy Reidenberg: What is a whale? What do their bodies tell us about how they talk and think?
  • Aza Raskin, ESP: What is AI? How can it unlock and transform our relationship with nature?
  • Prof Roger Payne, Project CETI: From the discovery of whale song, to cracking whale speak
  • Tom Mustill, author and director: The Machine revolution in biology and why it matters.

After presentations from each speaker, there will be a discussion about the future of animal communication research, and the implications of making contact with our fellow species. The discussion will be chaired by Natalie Cash of the WCS, will also share recent scientific discoveries about the whales of NYC. Questions will be invited from the audience.

There will also be a display of intriguing cetacean anatomical specimens from the extensive collection of Prof Joy Reidenberg.

Tom Mustill will also be available to sign first edition copies of the book which will be for sale.


Header photo courtesy of Jodi Frediani



Natalie Cash

Natalie Cash is the Executive Producer in charge of video production at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), an international conservation organization with more than 3,000 field staff in 65 countries. With three decades of experience in the industry, Cash produces short-form programming about WCS projects and stories for multiple platforms. Her films have won awards at the International Wildlife Film Festival and New York WILD and have been selected as finalists at Wildscreen and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Prior to joining WCS, she was a series producer and writer at the Emmy Award-winning documentary production company Pangolin Pictures.

Tom Mustill

Tom Mustill is a biologist turned filmmaker and writer, specialising in stories where people and nature meet. His film collaborations, many with Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough, have received numerous international awards, including two Webbys, a BAFTA, and an Emmy nomination. He was recognised at the Explorers Club previously with a NY WILD award for his film ‘The Bat Man of Mexico’.

His work has been played at the UN, in Times Square and on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, and been shared by heads of state, the World Health Organisation, and Guns N’ Roses.

Dr. Roger Payne

Dr. Roger Payne is best known for his discovery that humpback whales sing songs, and for theorizing correctly that the sounds of fin and blue whales can be heard across oceans. Dr. Payne has studied the behavior of whales since 1967. He has led over 100 expeditions to all the Earth’s oceans and studied every species of large whale in the wild. He pioneered many of the benign research techniques now used throughout the world to study free-swimming whales, and has trained many of the current leaders in whale research in America and abroad. He directs long term research projects on the songs of humpback whales, and on the behavior of 1,700 individually known Argentine right whales — the longest such continuous study. He is the Principle Advisor on Whale Biology to the Cetacean Translation Initiative (Project CETI).

Aza Raskin

Aza Raskin is the co-founder of Earth Species Project, an open-source nonprofit dedicated to translating animal communication. He is also the co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology, was featured in the documentary The Social Dilemma, and is the co-host for the popular podcast Your Undivided Attention. Trained as a mathematician and dark matter physicist, he has taken three companies from founding to acquisition, is a co-chairing member of the World Economic Forum’s Global AI Counsel, briefs heads of state, helped found Mozilla Labs, in addition to being named FastCompany’s Master of Design, and listed on Forbes and Inc Magazines 30-under-30.

Joy S. Reidenberg, Ph.D.

Joy S. Reidenberg, Ph.D. is a comparative anatomist, specializing in cetacean anatomy. She is a Professor in the Center for Anatomy and Functional Morphology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY. She attended Cornell University (B.A. 1983) and Mount Sinai’s Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (M.Phil. 1986, Ph.D. 1988). She also held appointments as Guest Investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Associate Scientist at National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution). The focus of her research is anatomical adaptations to environmental extremes, particularly focusing on marine mammals (e.g., underwater sound production mechanisms). She has been featured as the lead scientist (comparative anatomist) in many national and international science television documentaries and given two TED talks. She is an active member of national whale stranding necropsy teams.

September 7,2022
September 7, 2022
6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Program
6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Program
Tom Mustill, Joy Reidenberg, Aza Raskin, Roger Payne, Natalie Cash
Tom Mustill, Joy Reidenberg, Aza Raskin, Roger Payne, Natalie Cash
Explorers Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, NY, NY, 10021
Explorers Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, NY, NY, 10021
How To Speak Whale Click here to purchase tickets

A Voyage into the Future of Animal Communication

The Explorers Club invites you to an evening in the company of whales, those that know them intimately and scientists working to decipher their communications.
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