Forty years after her first Beatty Lecture in 1979, Jane Goodall returned to McGill to talk about the critical need for environmental stewardship and the power each individual has to bring about change. In the history of the Beatty Lecture, Goodall is the only lecturer who has been invited to speak under the Beatty banner a second time.
Equipped with little more than a notebook, binoculars and a passionate interest in wildlife, Goodall followed her passion for animals and Africa to Gombe, Tanzania, at the age of 26, where she began her pioneering research into the behaviour of wild chimpanzees. Her discovery in 1960 that chimpanzees make and use tools rocked the scientific world and redefined the relationship between humans and animals.
In 1961, Goodall entered Cambridge University as a Ph.D. candidate, one of the few people in history to be admitted there without a university degree. She earned her Ph.D. in ethology in 1966. In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to advance her work around the world and for generations to come. JGI continues the field research at Gombe and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitat. JGI is also widely recognized for building on Goodall’s work in community-centred conservation, which recognizes the central role that people play in the well-being of animals and the environment. In 1991, she founded Roots & Shoots, a global program that guides young people in more than 50 countries in becoming conservation activists and leaders in their daily lives.
Today Goodall travels the globe 300 days a year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees and environmental crises, urging each of us to take action on behalf of all living creatures and the planet we share. She is a UN Messenger of Peace and Dame of the British Empire.
On October 14, 2019 CBC TV aired a half hour special titled "Journey From The Jungle: Nancy Wood In Conversation with Jane Goodall" featuring CBC Montreal News host Nancy Wood's Q&A with Goodall following her Beatty Lecture plus lecture excerpts.
Listen to Jane Goodall's 1979 Beatty Lecture and see a selection of archival documents about her lecture here.
Watch Jane Goodall share four reasons why she has hope for the future in this excerpt from her 2019 Beatty Lecture:
Watch Jane Goodall share how she became an activist in this excerpt from her 2019 Beatty Lecture:
Image: Joni Dufour, photographer