C Scott Taylor, BSocSc (Hons), PhD
Animal Geographer and Legendarian
C. Scott Taylor has been, by profession, an educator, a lightshow artist, a furniture designer/builder, a Legendarian, an academic and a social scientist.He has followed the trail of the dolphins since 1983, passionately exploring the story of our long relationship with the people of the sea.
His quest as a young man--born in America and raised in Central America, Europe, and America--led him to the study of spiritual traditions and techniques of mind expansion. As a young wandering 'yogi' he experienced an epiphany in which he realized that he must participate in life rather than retreat from it.
He took up the challenge, married, had two wonderful children and invented a career for himself as a furniture designer/craftsman, which he pursued for twenty years, living in Colorado.
One day the Legend of the Golden Dolphin found him. From that moment in 1983 his life began to transform again, until he found himself following the dolphin tale full time. The Legend is a meta-history, a post-modern compendium. It contains traditional wisdom, mythologies, histories of social, philosophical, and scientific discoveries as well as personal stories, intimate tales of human-dolphin contact. Rather than a tale with a beginning and end, it is more like the legend in the corner of a map, the key to the Big Picture. Enabling humans to see the role of another intelligent species in its histories and progress, the Legend offers a view of both past and future. As such, the Legend has become a delightful vehicle for Scott to explore some of the Big Questions, to find meaning and purpose, as well as a sense of optimism.
The pursuit of this gentle obsession has enabled him to develop an unusual perspective on our relationship to dolphins. Having spent hundreds of hours among dolphins in the wild and many hundreds of hours among dolphins in human care, he considers himself to be fortunate to have had opportunities to explore the differences.He discovered eventually that he was inside the story he was following--he came to understand that he is a character in the Legend. He saw that his life had become intimately entwined with the tale, not only discovering what others had done, but contributing his own part. This led him, in time, to move to Australia where he continues his research, teaching, and writing.
While living in the United States he became involved in several interspecies communication research projects that were privately funded. The first project centred on an experimental recording and playback system that explored a theoretical model that was discovered to have unique qualities for human listeners. With a close friend, he launched himself onto the road, bringing the Dolphin Radiance Experience to thousands of people across the United States in the early 1990´s. The second project with which he has been associated, which is ongoing, is led by Jack and Donna Kassewitz of SpeakDolphin, close friends who have dedicated years to understanding dolphin vocalisations and biosonar, seeking ways to enable meaningful exchanges of information between species.
Along the way he shared the story of his quest to understand the Legend with others. He was asked for a more complete sharing of the tale. To do so, he envisioned a large collection of books, scientific reports, films, recordings, artefacts and images that could be referenced by interested researchers.
He founded, and continues as the Executive Director of, the Cetacean Studies Institute, which has accumulated a substantial archive, offers educational programs, conducts research, and provides consulting services to a wide variety of people: artists, scientists, film makers, authors, students, therapists, educators, swim facility owners, legislators, activists, social entrepreneurs, and mystics.
Souls in the Sea: Dolphins, Whales and Human Destiny is his first book in which the dolphin tale is brought up to date and its many threads are related as never before. It is itself a work of meta-history in which a multitude of views are combined for the first time. Comprehensive, poetic, scientific, spiritual, and humorous, it has been called a major contribution to the field of dolphin--and human--studies. "Souls in the Sea" has been cited and quoted by numerous authors, from psychologists and scientists to Christian pastors, from South American novelists to clinical psycho-therapists.
He is a gifted speaker/performer and tour leader/storyteller. He has led numerous groups of people to dolphin sites in Mexico, Florida, Hawaii, the Bahamas, and Australia. He is available as a speaker, futurist and inspirational guide.
Seeing the need for a non-profit educational corporation, he founded The Dolphin Embassy with his partner, Amanda Hain. The Embassy has done tours of the world, sharing the meta-tale of the dolphin-human connection in India, Belgium, Quintana Roo, many of the United States, Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand.
He has worked with Amanda, who is the Director of the Dolphin EDventures Wellness Program, to bring adults seeking non-clinical, self-directed therapy into intimate, safe contact with the dolphins at Coffs Harbours wonderful Pet Porpoise Pool.
He now lives on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland, Australia with Amanda, spending his days doing research and writing. He earned a Bachelor´s degree (with First Class Honours) in Human Geography, from the University of the Sunshine Coast, based in part on his dissertation The Dolphin-Human connection: Embassy or Zoo-without-walls? in which he explored dolphin agency and its role in dolphin-human interaction management schemes worldwide.
What followed was three and a half years of research and writing of his doctoral thesis. As a Geographer, his focus is in animal geographies, that is, the spaces in which humans, animals, and places interact. His doctoral research investigates the ways Dolphin-Assisted Therapy is understood, represented, contested, and performed. He did field research in Florida and on the island of Curacao, interviewing key persons as part of a case study. He used both this case study and discourse analysis of a broad range of sources to inform his research on Geographies of the Liminal Dolphin: toward an understanding of the contested spaces of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy .
His doctorate was conferred in August, 2014. He has been granted the first PhD for research on Dolphin-Assisted Therapy by a Social Scientist.
He seeks to further the understanding of and support for Dolphin-Assisted Therapy. He has come to understand that DAT is not only an effective field of therapies for persons with disabilities, but is also an excellent way to engage with and stimulate dolphins living in facilities, dolphins who have nowhere else to go.
He has published research papers in peer-reviewed journals. One, drawing on his Honours dissertation research, investigates how dolphin interactions with dolphins who approach humans are managed, and concludes that, since these and many other animals in contact with humans are referred to as ambassadors, it would improve the outcomes in these interaction spaces if they were thought of as Embassies. An embassy is where different cultures come together in mutual respect and work out ways of interacting for mutual benefit. This paper is titled; The agency of Dolphins: Toward interspecies Embassies as sites of engagement with significant otherness, published in Geographical Research, Vol. 51, Issue 1, pages 1-10.
Dr. John C. Lilly, MD (Dr. Dolphin to many...) had this to say about Scott: Dr. Taylor is a key person in what I call the Cetacean Nation, a global network of like-minded individuals attempting to bridge the communication gap between humans and cetaceans. His work contributes a wider understanding of humanity, cetacea, and the environment on the edge of the twenty-first century. Scotts continued efforts as educator and catalyst bridge not only the interspecies communication barrier, but the barriers between people.
A Telling of The Legend of the Golden Dolphin, March 6th, 2014