On Monday, October 19, the Brown Lecture Board hosted Dr. Jane Goodall, the world-renowned primatologist and activist. Goodall, who began her work in Gombe Valley in Tanzania 50 years ago, has contributed immensely to the study of chimpanzees and the scientific understanding of animal behavior. She founded the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977 with the aim of inciting individual action to create global change.
Goodall imparted her wisdom and stories to a packed Salomon auditorium; we also had the opportunity to interview her, which appears below.
Goodall began the lecture by walking on stage with two companions—a stuffed cow and gorilla—and greeted the crowd in a language foreign to most: chimpanzee speak. After uttering her guttural sounds, she translated it for the audience: “This is me. This is Jane.”
She took the audience through her life, one story at a time. Throughout the talk, Goodall radiated with the same exuberance and fascination with the world that she described in many of her childhood stories. From hiding in a hen coup for four hours to find out where hen eggs came from, to leaving her family, friends, and country at the age of 23 to venture to a distant, then-less-known land, Goodall always followed her curiosity. She stressed the importance of her mother in her life, who always supported her endeavors and even traveled with Goodall to Tanzania so that she could pursue her dream.