Jane Goodall

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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In the course of human history, there have been many people that have made momentous contributions to science. Aristotle, Copernicus, Einstein, and Hawking are a few names that come to mind when scientific contributions are mentioned. However, even though this woman's involvement in science isn't on the same grand scale as the others, she still deserves a spot among the great minds of our world, as a person who has helped to push us forward, into a future that has been lit, by her discoveries.

Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in London England. From her childhood, she was fascinated with zoology, amongst other things such as horseback riding, reading, and photography (Online, Gale net). And though she didn't know the first thing about etiology, which is the study of animal behavior, or zoology, that didn't seem to faze her. At the age of 18, after she finished high school, and pursued a job as a secretary and as a film production assistant, until she gained passage to Africa (Online, Gale net).

Once in Kenya, she began to assist paleontologist and anthropologist Louis S. B. Leakey. While working for Leakey, he noticed her passion and interest in animals, and he persuaded her to stay and work at the Gombe Stream Game Reserve in Tanzania, so that she would be able to observe the chimpanzees. Goodall gladly accepted, and in doing so, she took her first step, into what would become a lifetime of work on the study of chimpanzee conduct (Online, Encyclopedia Britannica).

Jane only expected to study chimpanzees for six months initially. That, however, soon changed. On March 28, 1964, she married Hugo Van Lawick, and gave birth to her only child, Hugo Eric Louis. A year later, she released a thesis on chimpanzee behavior, and...