October 8, 2007
A conversation with Jane Goodall, the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a U.N. Messenger of Peace who redefined observational practices in primatology with her unconventional research techniques.
How do chimpanzees, our closest relative, shed light on human behaviors and emotions? How can conservation efforts protect precious forest habitat and endangered species like the chimpanzee, and at the same time, improve the lives of humans living on the same land? In these times of concern over the environment, how can individuals daily make a difference in their surroundings?
In the summer of 1960, when 26-year-old Jane Goodall first surveyed the mountains and valleys of the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in East Africa, she had no idea that her research would evolve into a project that has continued into the 21st century—and that it would redefine the relationship between humans and animals.
Primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a U.N. Messenger of Peace, has become the world’s foremost authority on chimpanzees. It is hard to overstate the degree to which Goodall has changed and enriched the field of primatology—she defied scientific convention by giving the Gombe chimps names instead of numbers, and insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds, and emotions. Because of her research, we know of lasting chimpanzee family relationships, and that they hunt for meat and use tools. The longer Goodall’s research continues, the more it becomes obvious how much like us chimpanzees really are.
The recipient of dozens of awards, Goodall received her Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1965 and has been the scientific director of the Gombe Stream Research Center since 1967. Goodall has expanded her global outreach with the founding of the Jane Goodall Institute to support the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. She now teaches and encourages youth to foster respect and compassion for all living things through the institute’s Roots & Shoots program.
Join us for a conversation with Goodall, followed by a book signing.