Sowing the Seeds of Hope: An Evening with Dr. Jane Goodall
More than 50 years ago, a young Jane Goodall first set foot in what is today Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. Little did she know at the time that she was about to embark on a groundbreaking chimpanzee behavioral study that would rock the scientific community and redefine our understanding of animals and, ultimately, ourselves. Likewise, she probably never imaged that she would one day leave Gombe and begin a quest to empower others to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share.
In her speech, Sowing the Seeds of Hope, Dr. Goodall will first bring her audience into the world of the Gombe chimpanzees - from her early observations and experiences to the latest news and stories from the field.
Dr. Goodall will also share information about the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues her pioneering research and celebrates its 36th anniversary this year. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots, the Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program.
In Sowing the Seeds of Hope, Dr. Goodall will provide insight into the person behind the globetrotting international icon: a UN Messenger of Peace, Dame of the British Empire, and the subject of countless articles and television programs around the world. She will also discuss the current threats facing the planet and her reasons for hope in these complex times, encouraging everyone in the audience to do their part to make a positive difference each and every day.
For more information, please visit www.janegoodall.org.
Jane Goodall makes headlines as the subject of new documentary
Iconic conservationist Jane Goodall is the subject of a new documentary from National Geographic, Jane, which draws from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage of Goodall’s work in the Gombe. Hailed as “one of the best documentaries of 2017” (Rogerebert.com); “required viewing for anyone seeking a classic in the making” (Indiwire); and “a wondrous, moving, and truly stirring portrait...” (Hollywood Reporter), Jane explores how Goodall challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Amid the incredible press surrounding Jane, which is drawing praise at film festivals worldwide, Goodall has been sought-out for interviews by The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times to share her remarkable life story and insights into her continued mission to save the planet. It’s a message she’s shared with riveted audiences, most recently during her Tomorrow & Beyond USA Lecture Tour. Imparting her vision of hope and empowering audience members to do their part to make a difference, Goodall receives praise such as: "One word - phenomenal. We sold out of tickets (3000) almost two weeks in advance of Dr. Goodall's lecture. Our phones didn't stop ringing for weeks. Her lecture and book signing were amazing and truly inspirational..." (Oakland University).
Jane Goodall, New Technology, and the Conservation Revolution
Pioneering chimpanzee expert and world-renowned conservationist Jane Goodall has been studying the animal kingdom for six decades, making revolutionary contributions to the fields of ethnology and primatological research. As a recent piece from CNN explores, Goodall's path led her from scientist to activist as her dedication to studying chimps in the Gombe transformed into a mission to promote wildlife conservation. Most recently, Goodall's focus has shifted to initiatives to partner with local communities and the utilization of new technology to further preservation efforts. The Jane Goodall Institute's collaboration with Google Street View now allows the public to tour the Gombe and see the progress that has been made (and also to explore Goodall's own book-filled house!). Local Gombe forest monitors equipped with a tablet and helmet featuring a 360 degree camera are able to monitor the illegal cutting of firewood, as well as capture the surrounding landscape and chimps at play. The inextricable connection between people, the environment, and animals has always been at the core of Goodall's work, and she is uniquely equipped to discuss how technology can allow us to explore these connections.
Watch Jane Goodall in CNN's video on the conservation revolution >>
the Jane Goodall Institute
'The Jane Goodall Institute is a global nonprofit that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. Our work builds on Dr. Goodall’s scientific work and her humanitarian vision.'Read more...
Jane Goodall: Technology can help save environmentRead more...
In the summer of 1960, a young Englishwoman arrived on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in what is now Tanzania, East Africa. She was about to venture into the African forest to study chimpanzees—a highly unorthodox activity for a woman in those days. In fact, British authorities had insisted that the young woman have a companion, and so her mother would share this adventure for a time. As Jane Goodall first surveyed the mountains and valley forests of what was then called the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve, she had no idea her coming efforts would redefine the relationship between humans and animals or that the project would continue into the 21st century.
This African adventure was the fulfillment of Goodall’s childhood dream. She had been fascinated by animals even as a small girl—once frightening the adults in her household by disappearing for hours to hide under some hay in the henhouse to wait for a chicken to lay an egg. “It was Jane’s first animal research program,” her mother, Vanne, would say later. Goodall read countless books about wild animals and dreamed about living like Tarzan and Dr. Dolittle.
As a young woman, Goodall searched for ways to realize her dream. When, in 1957, a school friend invited Goodall to her parents’ farm in Kenya, she eagerly accepted. Within a few months of arriving, she met the famed anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey. Dr. Leakey had been searching for someone to begin a study of chimpanzees, not only to better understand these little-known primates, but also to gain insight into man’s evolutionary past. Goodall’s patience and persistent desire to understand animals convinced him she was the right person. He believed that a mind uncluttered by academia would yield a fresh perspective.
At first, the Gombe chimps fled whenever they saw Goodall. She persisted, however, watching from a distance with binoculars, and gradually the chimps allowed her closer. One day in the fall of 1960, she saw chimpanzee David Greybeard strip leaves off twigs to fashion tools for fishing termites from a nest. Scientists thought humans were the only species to make and use tools, but here was evidence to the contrary. On hearing of Goodall’s observation, Dr. Leakey said: “Now we must redefine tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as humans.” This would be one of Goodall’s most important discoveries.
Also in her first year at Gombe, Goodall observed chimps hunting and eating bushpigs and other animals, disproving theories that chimpanzees were primarily vegetarians and fruit eaters who only occasionally supplemented their diet with insects and small rodents.
In 1961, she entered Cambridge University as a Ph.D. candidate, one of very few people to be admitted without a college degree. She earned her Ph.D. in ethology in 1966.
It is hard to overstate the degree to which Dr. Goodall 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. She wrote of lasting chimpanzee family relationships. Through the years, her work continued to yield surprising insights, such as the unsettling discovery that chimpanzees engage in primitive and brutal warfare. In early 1974, a “four-year war” began at Gombe, the first record of long-term “warfare” in nonhuman primates. Members of the Kasekela group systematically annihilated members of the Kahama splinter group. In 1987, Dr. Goodall and her field staff would also observe adolescent Spindle “adopt” three-year-old orphan Mel, even though the infant was not a close relative.
The Gombe Stream Research Centre, which Dr. Goodall established in 1965, eventually became a training ground for students interested in studying primates. Today, it hosts a skilled team of researchers and field assistants, including many Tanzanians.
Said Gilbert Grosvenor, chairman of The National Geographic Society: “Jane Goodall’s trail-blazing path for other women primatologists is arguably her greatest legacy. During the last third of the 20th century, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas, Cheryl Knott, Penny Patterson, and many more women have followed her. Indeed, women now dominate long-term primate behavioral studies worldwide.”
Perhaps most significantly, Dr. Goodall’s work opened a window to the world of chimpanzees for a public with a strong curiosity about one of its closest genetic relatives. Through her books, particularly In the Shadow of Man and Through a Window, people worldwide are on a first-name basis with the chimpanzees of Gombe. Gombe’s greatest mother, Flo, and her offspring became internationally known. When homely old Flo died in 1972, The London Times printed an obituary.
In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute. The Institute supports the continuing research at Gombe and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program, which has groups in more than 120 countries.
In 1986, after a conference session with startling news about deforestation and the rapidly dwindling chimpanzee populations across Africa, Dr. Goodall realized she would have to leave her beloved Gombe and begin working to save chimpanzees. She continues this work today, traveling an average of 300 days per year to visit schoolchildren and speak in packed auditoriums about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will ultimately solve the problems it has imposed on the earth. Dr. Goodall continually urges her audiences to recognize their personal responsibility and ability to effect change. “Every individual matters,” she says. “Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”
Dr. Goodall’s scores of honors include the Medal of Tanzania, the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal, Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, UNESCO Gold Medal Award, and the Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence. In April 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Dr. Goodall a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Messengers help mobilize the public to become involved in work that makes the world a better place. They serve as advocates in a variety of areas: poverty eradication, human rights, peace and conflict resolution, HIV/AIDS, disarmament, community development and conservation. In 2004, in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles invested Dr. Goodall as a Dame of the British Empire, the female equivalent of knighthood. In 2006, Dr. Goodall received France’s highest recognition, the French Legion of Honor, presented by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin in Paris.
Dr. Goodall’s list of publications is extensive, including two overviews of her work at Gombe—In the Shadow of Manand Through a Window—as well as two autobiographies in letters, a bestselling autobiography, Reason for Hope, and Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating. In 2009, she released Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued from the Brinkabout the successful efforts of conservationists determined to save endangered species. Her many children’s books include Grub: the Bush Baby, Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Oursand My Life with the Chimpanzees. The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavioris recognized as the definitive work on chimpanzees and is the culmination of Dr. Goodall’s scientific career.Dr. Goodall has been the subject of numerous television documentaries and is featured in the large-screen format film Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees (2002) and the documentary film about her life, Jane’s Journey (2010). Discovery Channel Animal Planet specials featuring Dr. Goodall include: Jane Goodall’s Return to Gombe, Jane Goodall’s State of the Great Ape, When Animals Talk, Jane’s Goodall’s Heroes, and Almost Human.