Dr. Goodall shares “Seeds of Hope”

Madeline Diamond, News Editor

Primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall spoke about her reasons for hope during her lecture titled “Sowing the Seeds of Hope” at the University on Sept. 15. Goodall is the first speaker as part of the Bucknell Forum’s 2014-2015 lecture series, “Revolution Redefined.”

Goodall, known as “the woman who redefined man,” spoke of both her experience with behavior research of chimpanzees in the Gombe Forest of Tanzania, as well as her current projects of inspiring social and environmental change.

Met with a standing ovation, Goodall began her talk with a traditional chimpanzee greeting. She reflected on the beginnings of her research, explaining how it was her supportive mother who encouraged her early career. Between saving up money for books about animals to actually visiting a farm at age four, Goodall always had an interest in animals.

She credited both her mother and her mentor, the late Louis Leakey–a paleontologist, archaeologist, and anthropologist–for facilitating her early research in Tanzania, starting in 1960.

“There is no sharp line dividing us from the animal kingdom,” Goodall said.

She explained that animals are capable of love, compassion, and altruism–a fact that was previously believed to be false.

“It became obvious that every chimp had his or her own personality,” Goodall said of discoveries made during her research.

Goodall also spoke of how students and young people can get involved to help improve our society and environment.

“Do have the courage of your conviction,” she said.

Over the course of her career, Goodall’s interest in activism grew. Her Roots & Shoots program is specifically designed for young people to take action in their communities. Goodall said that people, especially youths, can fall into apathy because they do not know how to help, but she pointed out many ways people can get involved with helping both humanity and the environment.

Goodall expressed that the youth population is her greatest hope, explaining that she hopes she can contribute to helping young people realize that the true human potential can be attained if people live with their hearts and heads in unity.

After a question and answer session, Goodall ended her lecture by showing a video about a touching experience with a chimpanzee that she recalled as one of the most amazing things she has experienced.

Associate Professor of Biology Chris Martine, who introduced Goodall, announced that the next speaker for the University’s “Revolution Redefined” Forum series will be “Orange is the New Black” actress and LGBTQ advocate Laverne Cox.


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