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Jane Goodall's Quotes

Jane Goodall profile photo

Born: 1934-04-03
Profession: Scientist
Nation: English
Biography of Jane Goodall

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We have language and they do not. Chimps communicate by embracing, patting, looking - all these things. And they have lots of sounds. But they cannot sit and discuss. They cannot teach about things that are not present, as far as we know.

Tags: Cannot, Far, Looking

When I began in 1960, individuality wasn't an accepted thing to look for; it was about species-specific behaviour. But animal behaviour is not hard science. There's room for intuition.

Tags: Hard, Intuition, Science

When I look back over my life it's almost as if there was a plan laid out for me - from the little girl who was so passionate about animals who longed to go to Africa and whose family couldn't afford to put her through college. Everyone laughed at my dreams. I was supposed to be a secretary in Bournemouth.

Tags: Dreams, Family, Life

Women tend to be more intuitive, or to admit to being intuitive, and maybe the hard science approach isn't so attractive. The way that science is taught is very cold. I would never have become a scientist if I had been taught like that.

Tags: Hard, Science, Women

You cannot share your life with a dog, as I had done in Bournemouth, or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings.

Tags: Done, Feelings, Life

Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don't believe is right.

Tags: Change, Happens, Listening

Words can be said in bitterness and anger, and often there seems to be an element of truth in the nastiness. And words don't go away, they just echo around.

Tags: Anger, Truth, Words

We can't leave people in abject poverty, so we need to raise the standard of living for 80% of the world's people, while bringing it down considerably for the 20% who are destroying our natural resources.

Tags: Leave, Living, Poverty

What makes us human, I think, is an ability to ask questions, a consequence of our sophisticated spoken language.

Tags: Human, Language, Makes

Chimps are very quick to have a sudden fight or aggressive episode, but they're equally as good at reconciliation.

Tags: Aggressive, Fight, Good

As a small child in England, I had this dream of going to Africa. We didn't have any money and I was a girl, so everyone except my mother laughed at it. When I left school, there was no money for me to go to university, so I went to secretarial college and got a job.

Tags: Money, Mother, School

I don't spend that much time being introspective, believe it or not. All I know is that I grew up not questioning God because that's how you are. God was there like the birds and the wind.

Tags: God, Time, Wind

But does that mean that war and violence are inevitable? I would argue not because we have also evolved this amazingly sophisticated intellect, and we are capable of controlling our innate behavior a lot of the time.

Tags: Mean, Time, War

Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.

Tags: Far, Living, Successful

Certainly, if you look at human behavior around the world, you have to admit that we can be very aggressive.

Tags: Admit, Behavior, Human

I think we're still in a muddle with our language, because once you get words and a spoken language it gets harder to communicate.

Tags: Language, Once, Words

I'm highly political. I spend an awful lot of time in the U.S. trying to influence decision-makers. But I don't feel in tune with British politics.

Tags: Political, Politics, Time

It was because the chimps are so eye-catching, so like us and teach us so much that my work was recognised worldwide.

Tags: Teach, Work, Worldwide

When you meet chimps you meet individual personalities. When a baby chimp looks at you it's just like a human baby. We have a responsibility to them.

Tags: Baby, Human, Individual

I'm always pushing for human responsibility. Given that chimpanzees and many other animals are sentient and sapient, then we should treat them with respect.

Tags: Human, Respect, Treat

It was both fascinating and appalling to learn that chimpanzees were capable of hostile and territorial behavior that was not unlike certain forms of primitive human warfare.

Tags: Both, Human, Learn

Certainly the first true humans were unique by virtue of their large brains. It was because the human brain is so large when compared with that of a chimpanzee that paleontologists for years hunted for a half-ape, half-human skeleton that would provide a fossil link between the human and the ape.

Tags: Brain, Human, True

I didn't want to become a professor or get tenure or teach or anything. All I wanted to do was get a degree because Louis Leakey said I needed one, which was right, and once I succeeded I could get back to the field.

Tags: Become, Said, Wanted

I had been told from school onwards that the best definition of a human being was man the tool-maker - yet I had just watched a chimp tool-maker in action. I remember that day as vividly as if it was yesterday.

Tags: Best, Human, School

I thought my life was mapped out. Research, living in the forest, teaching and writing. But in '86 I went to a conference and realised the chimpanzees were disappearing. I had worldwide recognition and a gift of communication. I had to use them.

Tags: Life, Thought, Writing

In Tanzania, the chimps are isolated in a very tiny patch of forest. I flew over it 13 years ago and realized that, basically, all the trees had gone, that people all around the park are struggling to survive. It became very clear that there was no way to protect the chimps while the people were in this dire circumstance.

Tags: Gone, Struggling, While

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Much more quotes by Jane Goodall below the page.

It has actually been suggested that warfare may have been the principle evolutionary pressure that created the huge gap between the human brain and that of our closest living relatives, the anthropoid apes. Whole groups of hominids with inferior brains could not win wars and were therefore exterminated.

Tags: Brain, Human, May

Most Africans don't get to see these wild animals at all. Once they see and learn about them, they are much more likely to become involved in protecting the environment.

Tags: Become, Learn, Once

My family has very strong women. My mother never laughed at my dream of Africa, even though everyone else did because we didn't have any money, because Africa was the 'dark continent', and because I was a girl.

Tags: Family, Money, Women

War had always seemed to me to be a purely human behavior. Accounts of warlike behavior date back to the very first written records of human history; it seemed to be an almost universal characteristic of human groups.

Tags: History, Human, War