The eighty-seven-year-old naturalist knocks around her home on the south coast of England and explains why, despite the floods and fires and melting ice caps, she’s still optimistic about planet Earth.
Before the pandemic, Jane Goodall travelled three hundred days a year to speak to audiences about the climate crisis. “I used to do, like, three days in the Netherlands, three days in Belgium, three days in France,” Goodall, who is eighty-seven, recalled recently. In China or Australia, “it would be, like, two weeks, where they’d spread me through their country.” Everywhere she went, she met young people who were “angry, depressed, or just apathetic, because, they’ve told me, we have compromised their future and they feel there is nothing they can do about it,” she writes in her twenty-first and most recent work, “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times.” Amid flooding and wildfires, impassivity and eco-grief, the question she was asked most often was “Do you honestly believe there is hope for our world?” Continue reading
Wherever the story of our natural world ultimately lands, Jane Goodall will have earned a proud place in its telling. Goodall, 87, first found fame in the early 1960s for her paradigm-busting work as a primatologist. Continue reading
Several of us contributing to this platform have had the opportunity to meet her, and can attest to what Melena Ryzyk says below. There really are not sufficiently powerful words to describe her, but we link out to those stories that try. It may be that photography or film offer the best medium for understanding and more fully appreciating her work. Click above for the trailer, or click the title below to read the review of this film, high on our list for viewing:
A journey to Greece in 1969 planted a seed in me that grew into my life’s ambition. Another in 1983 led to meeting Amie, and fusing our life’s ambitions together. Together we went to Costa Rica in 1995, which led to continuing our joint life’s journey abroad.
Half a century ago, she journeyed into the Tanzanian jungle to change how the world saw chimpanzees. Today the world’s most famous conservationist is on a mission to save their lives.
I believe in the power of a journey to change one’s life path. In the story that follows, this woman’s singular life’s journey is just one more example, albeit an extreme and heroic one, of why we believe in the power of a journey. She visited Cornell while I was a graduate student, and Amie and I were deeply moved by what she came to say. Seth was a one year old and Milo was not yet a “twinkle in the eye.”
The child-sized t-shirt we bought to support the Jane Goodall Institute with our limited graduate student funds was passed from older brother to younger until neither of them could fit into it any more, by which time we were well into our new lives in the emerging field of entrepreneurial conservation in Costa Rica. In no small part, our family’s dedication to conservation is an unexpected outcome of a short journey across campus that Amie and I made to listen to Jane Goodall talk about her long life’s journey. Continue reading
This title of the book to the left, and of the podcast interview (“Trading Pom-Poms For Field Boots”) on the National Public Radio (USA) series called “My Big Break”–and even the opening line below—give the false impression that this may be a dilettante story; but not at all. It is about discovering science in a classroom and coming to love it thanks to a deep experience in nature:
Mireya Mayor’s life plays out like an adventure film.
She’s a globe-trotting anthropologist, primatologist, wildlife expert and conservationist. As the first female wildlife correspondent for the Ultimate Explorer series on National Geographic Channel, she’s gone diving with great whites, she’s rappelled down cliffs and she was even charged by an angry silverback gorilla.
But some of her fans might be surprised by what Mayor was up to before she trekked around remote regions of the world. Continue reading