The Power of One
By Gavin Aung Than / zenpencils.com
Feb 1, 2016

Dr. Jane Goodall is an environmentalist, humanitarian, author, UN Messenger of Peace and one of the most famous scientists alive. Her groundbreaking studies of chimpanzees changed our perception of our primate cousins and consequently, how humans looked at themselves.

Goodall was 23 when she first visited Africa and met the famous palaeontologist Louis Leakey. Although she didn’t have a university degree, Leakey was so impressed with Goodall’s knowledge of Africa and its wildlife, he hired her as his assistant. Goodall was the first of Leakey’s ‘Trimates’ who were chosen to study primates in the wild, the other two being Diane Fossey (gorillas) and Birute Galdikas (orang-utans). In 1960, aged 26, Goodall arrived at what is now known as Gombe National Park where she began her painstaking study of chimpanzees, living among them in their natural habitat.

Besides being the first human to be accepted into a chimpanzee community, Goodall made several pioneering discoveries. She was the first to record chimpanzees eating meat (they were previously believed only to be vegetarian) and use tools for finding food. Tool making was previously one of the traits that scientists believed made humans ‘special’, but with Goodall’s discovery that notion was shattered. Leakey famously said “Now we must redefine tool, redefine Man, or accept chimpanzees as humans.” Even though some experts criticised the unscientific methods of Goodall (she later earned her Ph.D in 1965), her findings were hugely important and defined our understanding of chimpanzees.

In 1977, Goodall founded The Jane Goodall Institute, dedicated to protecting chimpanzees, preserving their habitats and improving the world we all share. In 1991, she founded Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, a global youth program dedicated to environmentalism, which now has over 150,000 members in 130 countries. Goodall, at 81 years old, still works tirelessly today as an advocate for the planet and its wildlife, travelling for most of the year and spreading her message.

The passage used in this comic is taken from an article Goodall wrote for Time magazine in 2002. In it, Goodall outlines the reasons for hope she has for our planet despite the overwhelming odds facing us. Thankfully, Goodall has recently updated her article for 2016, which can be read in full here.

3.5 ·
1
Trending Today
Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism”
Russell Means16,834 views today ·
History Tells Us What May Happen Next With Brexit and Trump
Tobias Stone9,692 views today ·
15 Powerful Quotes From the World's Most Humble President
Hyacinth Mascarenhas6,438 views today ·
MP Says Government is Intentionally Making People Destitute to Prevent Organised Opposition
2 min4,338 views today ·
Trump is a Symptom of Corporate Globalization
Helena Norberg-Hodge4,334 views today ·
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power
3 min3,996 views today ·
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small3,164 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min2,922 views today ·
Every Town Needs a Remakery
Jeremy Williams2,806 views today ·
Load More
New
We Communicate Through Energy
3 min
10 things you can do to resist hard Brexit
Adam Ramsay
Trump is a Symptom of Corporate Globalization
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Up Close and Personal With Norwegian Orcas
2 min
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power
3 min
Why Did Activists Chain Themselves to the Runway at Stansted Airport?
Plane Stupid
Rosie the Riveter for the 21st Century: You Dreamed, We Drew
Jennifer Luxton
Meet The Woman Rescuing Fruit and Feeding Her Community
2 min
Debating the British Empire's 'Legacy' Is Pointless - This Is Still an Imperial World
Ibtisam Ahmed
Load More
What's Next
What Shade of Green Are You?
Kari McGregor
The Global Transition Tipping Point Has Arrived - Vive la Révolution
Nafeez Ahmed
Ghetto Physics
2 min
Like us on Facebook?
The Power of One