MAKERS Profile

Temple Grandin

Professor of Animal Science

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In this MAKERS interview, Temple Grandin talks about how her autistic mind and very specific way of thinking allowed her to visualize and design a cattle facility that would revolutionize the food industry and give better lives to the animals we use for food.
Temple Grandin is world-famous for using insights gained from her autism to revolutionize the livestock industry. A professor at Colorado State for more than 20 years, Grandin is a celebrated speaker who lectures internationally on autism and livestock handling.   Diagnosed with autism as a child, which was thought to be a form of brain damage at the time, Grandin only began speaking at the age of four following extensive speech therapy. Still, Grandin went on to academic success, earning a degree in psychology from Franklin Pierce College in 1970, followed by a master's degree in animal science from Arizona State University and a doctoral degree in animal science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   An expert on animal behavior, Grandin has designed humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the U.S. and consults with the meat industry to develop animal welfare guidelines. In 2010, Time Magazine listed Grandin as one of its most Important People of the Year.   Not only has Grandin's work on the humane treatment of animals made her revered in the animals rights world, but her books about her life as an autistic person have increased the world's understanding of the condition.

More From Temple

Dinner Parties and Handshakes
In this MAKERS interview, Temple Grandin talks about how her mother pushed her outside of her comfort zone to help teach her everyday social skills.

Autistic Child
In this MAKERS interview, Temple Grandin talks about growing up autistic in the 1950s when very little was known about the condition.

The Autism Spectrum
Autism activist Temple Grandin talks about the wide autism spectrum and what she believes causes it.

Giving Animals a Life Worth Living
Animal behavior professor Temple Grandin talks about why it's important to fix the problems on the farm so that animals can live a decent life before they wind up in the slaughterhouse. 

Anthropologist on Mars
In this MAKERS interview, Temple Grandin talks about how being autistic and not recognizing subtle social cues, like eye rolling, may have had a positive outcome on her career.

Cattle Handling and Dip Vats
Animal behavior professor Temple Grandin talks about how she shocked the livestock industry with her ingenious and much-needed design.

"Claire Danes Became Me"
In this MAKERS interview, Temple Grandin talks about what it was like having a movie made about her and being portrayed by Claire Danes.

Getting Students to be Observant
Animal behavior professor Temple Grandin shares her strategy when it comes to teaching up-and-coming animal professionals.

Emphasize Your Strengths
Temple Grandin, autism activist and animal behavior professor, talks about why she believes we should emphasize strengths and de-emphasize weaknesses in our children.

Different Kinds of Minds
Professor of animal science and autism activist Temple Grandin explains how she thinks in specific pictures and why different kinds of minds need to work together.

Relating to Mr. Spock
In this MAKERS interview, autism activist Temple Grandin shares why she felt a kinship with the most logical character in "Stark Trek."