Dr. Jane Goodall is a world famous British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and U.N. Messenger of Peace. She is known for her long-term observation and research on chimpanzees.

At the age of 26, Goodall bravely traveled from England to Tanzania with nothing more than a notebook and a pair of binoculars. With unyielding patience and optimism, she won the trust of the chimpanzee and managed to open a window into their lives.

Goodall visited Phoenix and presented a lecture during the 2019 Arizona Speaker Series at the Comerica Theatre. On March 25, I met with Dr. Goodall as a Young Reporter. I asked her if chimps would have more empathy than humans if we lived in an upside down world where they ruled the world.

Goodall says it is a difficult question. “I was very shocked to find that chimpanzees can be nasty just like us,” she says. “It’s a good question, but we don’t have a good answer.”

When people ask her if chimps will become more like us, she says, “I would hope chimps develop less like us—because we can be so mean.”

Chimpanzees are very good at solving conflicts, according to Goodall, who says in that way they are better than humans. She explained that a lot of problems that people have revolve around money.

“Once money comes in, then people become notgood people...they want to destroy a forest to make money, they pollute the sea to make money. All those bad things,” Goodall says.

Today Goodall’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment we share.

To learn more about Goodall and her work, visit

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