Dr. Jane Goodall

Internationally Renowned Primatologist, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace

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The author of many acclaimed books and articles, Dr. Goodall’s current bestseller Reason For Hope, is a poignant and insightful memoir that explores the spiritual and scientific experiences that have shaped her life. The book is also the subject of a recent PBS television portrait.Her books include Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe, My Life with the Chimpanzees, and In the Shadow of Man.

In the summer of 1960, a young Englishwoman arrived on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, East Africa. She was about to venture into the African forest to study chimpanzees—a highly unorthodox activity for a woman at that time. British authorities had insisted that the young woman have a companion, and so her mother would for a time share this adventure. As Jane Goodall first surveyed the mountains and valley forests of the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve, she had no idea her coming efforts would redefine the relationship between humans and animals or that this project would continue into the 21 st century.

One of Dr. Goodall’s most significant discoveries came in her first year at Gombe, when she saw chimps stripping leaves off stems to make the stems useful for fishing termites out of nearby mounds. This and subsequent observations of Gombe chimps making and using tools would force science to rethink the definition that separated man from other animals: \”man the toolmaker.\” Dr. Goodall also observed chimps hunting and eating bushpigs and other animals, disproving the widely held belief that chimpanzees were primarily vegetarians.Dr. Goodall defied scientific convention by giving the chimpanzees names instead of numbers, and insisted on the validity of her observations that the chimps had distinct personalities, minds and emotions. She wrote of lasting chimpanzee family bonds. Through the years her work yielded surprising insights such as the discovery that chimpanzees engage in warfare.Dr. Goodall established the Gombe Stream Research Center in 1964. Under the stewardship of Tanzanian field staff and other researchers, it continues Dr. Goodall’s work today, making it one of the longest uninterrupted wildlife studies in existence.In 1977, Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), which supports the Gombe work and other research, education and conservation and development programs. These include community-centered conservation efforts in Africa that empower villagers to build sustainable livelihoods while promoting regional conservation goals such as reforestation and an end to the illegal commercial bushmeat trade. JGI’s Roots & Shoots program, which supports students from preschool through university in projects that benefit people, animals and the environment, today hosts about 6,000 worldwide groups in more than 87 countries.Dr. Goodall travels an average 300 days per year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the earth. She continually urges her audiences to recognize their personal responsibility and ability to effect change through consumer action, lifestyle change and activism.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 2003, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, and the Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence. In April 2002 Secretary-General Annan appointed Dr. Goodall to serve as a United Nations “Messenger of Peace.” In 2004, at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles invested Dr. Goodall a Dame of the British Empire, the female equivalent of knighthood.Her list of publications is extensive, including two overviews of her work at Gombe — — as well as two autobiographies in letters, the best-selling autobiography and many children’s books. , is recognized as the definitive work on chimpanzees and is the culmination of Jane Goodall’s scientific career. Dr. Goodall has been the subject of numerous television documentaries and is featured in the large-screen format film, (2002). In 2004, she was featured in two Discovery Channel Animal Planet specials— and .

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