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Jane Goodness
September 16, 2010 3:31 PM   Subscribe

National Geographic has digitized all of Jane Goodall's articles for the publication from the past five decades. They've also added a galley of photographs documenting her extraordinary work with chimps.
posted by gman (12 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
I meant to include the Gombe: 50 Years of Research and Inspiration video of this beautiful woman in my post.
posted by gman at 3:43 PM on September 16, 2010


I had the chance to meet her once, when I was in middle school. She gave a talk about the importance of science education and tried to get students excited about learning about the environment.

The message fell on pretty deaf ears at my school, except for about three of us. After her talk, I snuck away from my class as they were leaving, and went down to the stage in our auditorium, and asked for her autograph.

I remember how stunned she seemed to be about having this little ginger girl in this inner city school ask her for her autograph, and mention having read so much of her work in National Geographic.
posted by strixus at 3:53 PM on September 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is *amazing* !

This summer, I have been reading through some of the reports by Goodall and her colleagues. As a project in information design, I did a flowchart of the food sharing sequences which are described in this article.

When I posted to the web, I had difficulty finding great links I could share. But now....! ♥
posted by honest knave at 4:00 PM on September 16, 2010


strixus, she came to my middle school too! I loved her.
posted by prefpara at 4:01 PM on September 16, 2010


She also came to my elementary school, which isn't that surprising since I clearly went to the same school as prefpara (as best I can figure, I was three years behind him/her. Do I know you?) I don't have a great memory of the speech, althogh "surreal, ridiculous moment outside of ordinary reality" seems to sum it up pretty well, but I do remember helping to organize some sort of giant Roots&Shoots carnival at the school that went along with her visit. I never was quite sure what a big carnival had to do with the chimpanzee lady, and I guess I'm still a little vague on the concept, but it was fun.

Anyway, one of my strongest memories of the event was that the student council had a meeting to watch Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey in preparation for Goodall's visit (hey, it was vaguely related). I believe I was in 2nd grade at the time. Anyway, as I remember it, the movie features Sigourney Weaver as Fossey repeatadly saying "shit" as gorillas took swipes at her, poachers thereatened her, and other Bad Things(tm) occured. As a 2nd grader, this was the source of no end of amusment. I believe Jane Goodall didn't utter a single profanity during her visit, which was a little disapointing to me.
posted by zachlipton at 4:59 PM on September 16, 2010


Chimps are dicks. Orangutans are where it's at.
posted by item at 5:09 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jane Goodall is directly responsible for my life being what it is right now. My father had me read In the Shadow of Man when I was 12 and I was like "OK! That!!!" My science teacher in 8th grade thought it was great that I was a 13-year-old girl who wanted to be a scientist, so he took me to see her when she spoke at Salem State College. Since then, I've worked with signing chimpanzees, gotten a BA in anthropology, done fieldwork on small Amazonian monkeys and gotten into graduate school to become a REAL monkey chaser. And Dr. Goodall has been the secret voice propelling me along this whole way :-) I love her!!!
posted by ChuraChura at 5:27 PM on September 16, 2010 [12 favorites]


Interesting to see the admiration here for a woman who, to put it mildly, is not well-regarded in the human community in which she worked. As another naturalist put it, "Well, Jane is never wrong about anything, is she?" The same people did have a lot of respect for Dian Fossey, although they all agreed the pressure of her situation (the poaching, etc.) really got to her by the end.
posted by grounded at 6:41 PM on September 16, 2010


Interesting to see the admiration here for a woman who, to put it mildly, is not well-regarded in the human community in which she worked. As another naturalist put it, "Well, Jane is never wrong about anything, is she?"

By 'well-regarded' do you mean personally or professionally? If the former, who the hell cares? It's her work, not her personality, that's been such a powerful force for conservation and empathy over the past decades. If the latter - more information, please? What precisely is she 'wrong' about that she won't admit to?
Honest request - I know next to nothing about the internal debates of the primatologist community.
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:58 PM on September 16, 2010


yay, this makes me happy, gman - thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 7:21 PM on September 16, 2010


The fact that Jane Goodall sells this t-shirt on her website, makes me love her even more.
posted by wv kay in ga at 7:46 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Interesting to see the admiration here for a woman who, to put it mildly, is not well-regarded in the human community in which she worked. As another naturalist put it, "Well, Jane is never wrong about anything, is she?" The same people did have a lot of respect for Dian Fossey, although they all agreed the pressure of her situation (the poaching, etc.) really got to her by the end.

By "in the human community in which she worked," I'm not sure if you're referring to the folks around her site in Tanzania, or other primatologists. Either way, I tend to disagree. The Jane Goodall Institute has done a lot of community development work directly around Gombe and throughout countries where chimpanzees are endemic. In those countries, they employ and educate a lot of local scientists and local people in general. While there are almost always going to be conflicts over land use, research, development, conservation, and local populations, I think Dr. Goodall's work is a really good example of the positive things that can come out of long term attention to one particular site by the same researcher.

If you're referring to the primatological community, I still disagree. In all the primatology classes I've taken and professors I've worked with, Dr. Goodall hasn't been that controversial a figure. While there are definitely issues with her research - the provisioning of chimps at Gombe Stream, for instance, calls pretty much all of the work to come out of there on aggression into question - and issues with her really late conversion to conservation, she's a hugely charismatic person who has done so much good for science in general and primatology in particular. So perhaps as a scientist speaking to her scientific peers, there are certainly conflict (though not with everyone. People like Richard Wrangham and Craig Stanford have devoted practically their entire lives to research coming out of Gombe Stream).

What I am constantly amazed by is the fact that she is a primatologist who EVERYONE KNOWS!!! When I tell people I study monkeys, they say, "Oh, so you want to be like that Jane Goodall lady." Physical anthropology is one of the few hard sciences with more women than men actually doing field work - and you can attribute that in a huge way to Jane Goodall. While I was doing my grad school applications, I didn't really want to tell people that it's because of Dr. Goodall I got started on my path to primatology because it's a huge cliche, especially for women my age. She's a fundraiser for conservation, she's a voice for great apes being abused in medical research facilities, she's a conduit for researchers to come together, she's a huge inspiration.

And, as far as Dian Fossey goes, I have the complete opposite reaction. I think her intial work on mountain gorillas was amazing and important, but she went really crazy and her treatment of the people who lived around her really set back gorilla conservation in Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo. In the Kingdom of Wild Gorillas is a great book dealing with her work and what came after, if anyone is interested.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:40 AM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


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