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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index G > Jane Goodall Quotes

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Jane Goodall
(3 Apr 1934 - )

English primatologist, anthropologist and ethnologist who spent 45 years studying chimpanzee social behaviour. She founded the Jane Goodall Institute.


Science Quotes by Jane Goodall (10 quotes)

Question: If chimps are so much like us, why are they endangered while humans dominate the globe?
Goodall: Well, in some ways we're not successful at all. We're destroying our home. That's not a bit successful.
— Jane Goodall
In Virginia Morell, 'The Discover Interview: Jane Goodall', Discover (Mar 2007), 28, No. 3, 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Destroying (3)  |  Environment (138)  |  Home (58)  |  Success (202)

I don't care two hoots about civilization. I want to wander in the wild.
— Jane Goodall
Repeating a remark made in the past to Dr. Leakey, as quoted by Nan Robertson in 'Three Who Have Chosen a Life in the Wild', New York Times (1 May 1981), B36. The article featured three primatologists (Dian Fossey, Birutι Galdikas and Goodall) at a symposium, 'What We Can Learn About Humankind From the Apes' at Sweet Briar College campus.
Science quotes on:  |  Care (73)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Hoot (2)  |  Wander (16)  |  Want (120)  |  Wild (39)

I feel a desperation to make people see what we are doing to the environment, what a mess we are making of our world. At this point, the more people I reach, the more I accomplish. … I miss Gombe and my wonderful years in the forest But if I were to go back to that, I wouldn’t feel I was doing what I should be doing.
— Jane Goodall
Answering the question, “Why have you transferred your energies from animal research to activism?” From interview by Tamar Lewin, 'Wildlife to Tireless Crusader, See Jane Run', New York Times (20 Nov 2000), F35.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  Desperation (4)  |  Environment (138)  |  Forest (88)  |  Gombe (2)  |  Making (26)  |  Mess (10)  |  Missing (7)  |  Reach (68)  |  Wonder (134)  |  World (667)

If you look into their [chimpanzees] eyes, you know you’re looking into a thinking mind. They teach us that we are not the only beings with personalities, minds capable of rational thought, altruism and a sense of humor. That leads to new respect for other animals, respect for the environment and respect for all life.
— Jane Goodall
From interview by Tamar Lewin, 'Wildlife to Tireless Crusader, See Jane Run', New York Times (20 Nov 2000), F35.
Science quotes on:  |  Altruism (7)  |  Animal (309)  |  Capability (35)  |  Chimpanzee (12)  |  Environment (138)  |  Eye (159)  |  Humor (5)  |  Life (917)  |  Looking (25)  |  Mind (544)  |  Personality (40)  |  Rational (42)  |  Respect (57)  |  Sense (240)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Thought (374)

In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals. In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.
— Jane Goodall
As quoted in magazine article by James Fallows, 'When Donald Meets Hillary', The Atlantic (Oct 2016). The reporter stated “Jane Goodall … told me shortly before Trump won the GOP nomination.”
Science quotes on:  |  Branch (61)  |  Chimpanzee (12)  |  Display (22)  |  Dominance (5)  |  Drag (2)  |  Faster (10)  |  Hierarchy (11)  |  Imaginative (6)  |  Impress (9)  |  Individual (177)  |  Longer (5)  |  Maintain (22)  |  Male (24)  |  Performance (27)  |  Position (54)  |  Remind (5)  |  Rise (51)  |  Ritual (8)  |  Rival (9)  |  Rock (107)  |  Seek (57)  |  Slap (2)  |  Spectacular (8)  |  Stamp (14)  |  Throw (31)  |  Donald Trump (3)  |  Vigorous (11)

Many scientists have spent years collecting information about the effect of human actions on the climate. There’s no question that the climate is changing, I’ve seen it all over the world. And the fact that people can deny that humans have influenced this change in climate is quite frankly absurd.
— Jane Goodall
From Facebook video 10155220356117171 (31 Mar 2017) posted by Dr. Jane Goodall.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (20)  |  Action (151)  |  Climate Change (56)  |  Collect (10)  |  Deny (29)  |  Effect (133)  |  Fact (609)  |  Human (445)  |  Influence (110)  |  Information (102)  |  People (269)  |  Scientist (447)  |  World (667)

Meat-eating has not, to my knowledge, been recorded from other parts of the chimpanzee’s range in Africa, although if it is assumed that human infants are in fact taken for food, the report that five babies were carried off in West Africa suggests that carnivorous behavior may be widespread.
— Jane Goodall
In 'Chimpanzees of the Gombe Stream Reserve', collected in Primate Behavior: Field Studies of Monkeys and Apes (1965), 473.
Science quotes on:  |  Africa (15)  |  Animal Behavior (9)  |  Assume (19)  |  Baby (18)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Carnivorous (3)  |  Chimpanzee (12)  |  Eating (21)  |  Fact (609)  |  Food (139)  |  Human (445)  |  Infant (13)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Meat (11)  |  Range (38)  |  Record (56)  |  Report (31)  |  Suggest (15)  |  Widespread (9)

Some humans are mathematicians—others aren’t.
— Jane Goodall
In In the Shadow of Man (1971), 252.
Science quotes on:  |  Human (445)  |  Mathematician (177)

The Gombe Stream chimpanzees … in their ability to modify a twig or stick to make it suitable for a definite purpose, provide the first examples of free-ranging nonhuman primates actually making very crude tools.
— Jane Goodall
In 'Chimpanzees of the Gombe Stream Reserve', collected in Primate Behavior: Field Studies of Monkeys and Apes (1965), 473.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Actually (14)  |  Animal Behavior (9)  |  Chimpanzee (12)  |  Crude (14)  |  Example (57)  |  First (174)  |  Gombe (2)  |  Modify (11)  |  Primate (8)  |  Provide (48)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Stick (19)  |  Stream (27)  |  Tool (70)  |  Twig (7)

To me, cruelty is the worst of human sins. Once we accept that a living creature has feelings and suffers pain, then by knowingly and deliberately inflicting suffering on that creature, we are guilty, whether it be human or animal.
— Jane Goodall
As given, without further citation, in Bollimuntha Venkata Ramana Rao, The Book of Uncommon Quips and Quotations (2003), 12. Please contact Webmaster if you know the primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Creature (127)  |  Cruelty (14)  |  Deliberately (4)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Guilt (8)  |  Human (445)  |  Inflicting (2)  |  Pain (82)  |  Sin (27)  |  Suffering (26)



Quotes by others about Jane Goodall (1)

In her book My Life With the Chimpanzees, Goodall told the story of “Mike,” a chimp who maintained his dominance by kicking a series of kerosene cans ahead of him as he moved down a road, creating confusion and noise that made his rivals flee and cower. She told me she would be thinking of Mike as she watched [Donald Trump in] the upcoming debates.
In magazine article by 'When Donald Meets Hillary', The Atlantic (Oct 2016). The reporter stated “Jane Goodall … told me shortly before Trump won the GOP nomination.”
Science quotes on:  |  Book (181)  |  Can (2)  |  Chimpanzee (12)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Create (98)  |  Debate (19)  |  Dominance (5)  |  Flee (2)  |  Kick (7)  |  Life (917)  |  Noise (24)  |  Rival (9)  |  Road (47)  |  Story (58)  |  Think (205)  |  Donald Trump (3)  |  Watch (39)


See also:
  • 3 Apr - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Goodall's birth.
  • Video: What Separates Us From Chimpanzees? - Jane Goodall talk (2007, 29 min).
  • Jane Goodall - context of quote I want to wander in the wild - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Jane Goodall - context of quote I want to wander in the wild - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Jane Goodall - context of quote Some humans are mathematicians - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Jane Goodall - context of quote Some humans are mathematicians - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Jane Goodall - context of quote Cruelty is the worst of human sins - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Jane Goodall - context of quote Cruelty is the worst of human sins - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • My Life With the Chimpanzees, by Jane Goodall. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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