Jane Goodall promotes science at CMU

Central Michigan University President George Ross rubs the head of mr. H as he greets Jane Goodall on stage before he speech Wednesday night at McGuirk Arena. mr. H was a gift from a friend Gary Haun in 1996, who lost his eye sight when he 25. “I tell everyone that when they touch him some of the inspiration that I get from Gary will rub off on them.” Sun Photograph by MATTHEW STEPHENS

When she was just a little girl, Jane Goodall remembers reading books about Tarzan. At that moment, she made up her mind that she wanted to travel to Africa.in 1960, accompanied by her mother, Goodall traveled to Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania to submerse herself in the chimpanzee culture. Wednesday night, McGuirk Arena on Central Michigan University’s campus was filled to capacity to hear Goodall speak on her experiences and her life’s work.“I was inspired by my love of animals as a child and a supportive mother. there was nobody in my family that really inspired me to want to go to Africa. it was from reading the Tarzan books, simple as that, and vowing that when I was 10 I would go to Africa, live with animals and write books about them,” Goodall said.“Then, I met the late Louis Leakey and he offered me to opportunity to study chimpanzees, which next to the human animal, probably the most intricate and fascinating social creatures that there are. At least they are easier to study than whales,” Goodall continued with a smile.

Nearly 5,000 students, teachers, professors and community members came to hear Goodall speak. Because of her busy schedule, it took more than two years for the CMU Speaker Series Committee to arrange for Goodall to come to CMU.Fans from all over came to McGuirk Arena to hear Goodall’s lecture. they came from Ohio, Indiana, Detroit and even parts of Canada.“there are a lot of ways Jane is motivating, as a woman scientist, which is personally relevant to me, as a goodwill and peace ambassador, as someone who finds and sees hope in the world, her interest in teaching and teaching children. there are a lot of ways it personally affects me but I am particularly proud of CMU for inviting this caliber of speaker,” said Anna Monfils, CMU biology professor and speaker series chair.“She is the most famous scientist living today and (getting her here) has been about a two-year process. we had to come up with the funds as a committee. We’re not looking for entertainment value as much as someone who represents what the university is about, which is (having) a broader look at the world for education sake and bringing the people together.“When Jane came up we started look at what Dr. Goodall’s contribution has been and it wasn’t hard to coalesce on her as a speaker. Then we felt fortunate like ‘oh my gosh we can get her.’ we were surprised.”Goodall studied the Kasakela Chimpanzee Community. in 1977, Goodall returned to human civilization and began the Jane Goodall Institute, which continuously funds her original research in Gombe. Spreading the word of conservation, Goodall is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats as well as conservation and development throughout Africa. Continued…

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Jane Goodall promotes science at CMU

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