Jane Goodall, dubbed by her biographer "the woman who redefined man," has changed our perceptions of primates, people, and the connection between the two. Over the past 45 years, Goodall herself has also evolved — from steadfast scientist to passionate conservationist and humanitarian.

Why you should listen

Jane Goodall hasn't exactly found the missing link, but she's come closer than just about anyone else on Earth. Her extensive research into the behavior of chimpanzees, which started in Africa in the 1960s and continues today, fundamentally altered scientific thinking about the relationship between humans and other mammals.

Goodall, who founded a research institute in her name in 1977, is an internationally recognized authority on the primate world. She's written books for adults and children, contributed to documentaries, and serves as a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, a United Nations peace messenger, and the president of Advocates for Animals. For her efforts to observe and preserve all species, Goodall has received honors and accolades from governments, nonprofits, universities, and professional organizations, including a medal from UNESCO and the French Legion of Honor in 2006.

What others say

“Goodall's detailed, engaging descriptions of chimpanzee society transformed our notions of what it means to be a primate -- and what it means to be human.” — Sierra Magazine

Jane Goodall’s TED talks

Jane Goodall on the TED Blog
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Scientist claim: "Missing link" found

May 19, 2009

Update: On examination, this claim was agreed by many observers to be somewhat overblown. Today, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, a revolutionary discovery — one that will stand as a milestone for paleontologists and evolutionists everywhere — was announced. Scientists based at the University of Oslo have discovered “Ida,” also […]

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4 great talks for International Women's Day

March 8, 2009

To celebrate March 8, International Women’s Day, we suggest these four TEDTalks gems from some amazing speakers — artists, scientists and economists who think deeply about the role of women. Author and activist Isabel Allende discusses women, creativity, feminism — and the power of passionate thinkers and doers: The former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Ngozi […]

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Quotes from Jane Goodall

Chimpanzees, more than any other living creature, have helped us to understand that there is no sharp line between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom. It’s a very blurry line, and it’s getting more blurry all the time.
Jane Goodall
TEDGlobal 2007 • 376K views Sep 2008
Inspiring, Persuasive
Here we are, arguably the most intelligent being that’s ever walked planet Earth, with this extraordinary brain … and yet we’re destroying the only home we have.
Jane Goodall
TEDGlobal 2007 • 376K views Sep 2008
Inspiring, Persuasive