Speaker Critique Primatologist Jane Goodall Delivered a Research Paper

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Speaker Critique

Primatologist Jane Goodall delivered a speech entitled "Reason for Hope" at the University of Miami Bank United Center on April 29, 2013. Tickets were required for entry, but there was no fee. The speaker began with an anecdote about her childhood to offer the audience information about how and why she became interested in animals and ecology. She lived on a farm when she was a girl in England and was fascinated by the fact that hens laid eggs. One day, young Jane became determined to watch the miracle of egg-laying, and that was how she became an astute observer of animal behavior. "Wasn't that the making of a little scientist?" she questions. The audience instantly appreciated Goodall's informal and conversational tone, as she launched into more serious discussions about the Earth later in the speech. Goodall even addresses gender issues during her discussion, as she refers to the fact that females attempting to enter the sciences have a tough time getting recognition or respect. However, Goodall's mother encouraged her to cultivate the "freedom to think and dream," she said. By the time Jane Goodall was 23, she was working as an assistant to an archaeologist and paleontologist named Louis Leakey, who would change her life after sending her on a mission to Tanzania to study the chimpanzees in the wild.

Chimpanzees were going to offer clues to understanding human evolution, notes Goodall. Goodall then links the discussion of her early career to why she is speaking today about having a "reason for hope." Goodall states that during her observations of animals throughout the course of her life, she noted that while human beings might have a more advanced forebrain, they do not have more intelligence. Human beings are destroying their "home," Goodall states plainly, referring to environmental degradation. However, what makes Goodall an…

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