Science & Tech, Community & Government, Home & Lifestyle

Opening a Dialogue

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 15:01 min

See how Dr. Jane communicates with climate change skeptics and companies who are harming animals.

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Topics include: Opening a Dialogue: Medical Researchers • Opening a Dialogue: Robert Gallo • Opening a Dialogue: Nebraska Farmers • Speaking with President Trump


I think with all these things, the most important way to create change is not by confronting something head-on. It's by meeting with people, listening to them, understanding where they're coming from, and then trying to find a way. You can try intellectually. And sometimes, that works. But it's more important to reach the heart. I think one of the big problems with science that has led to an awful lot of unintentional cruelty is this division between head and heart, and the perception that a good scientist must be totally objective, and that emotion mustn't come into it. To me, that's very wrong. To me, only when head and heart work in harmony can we achieve our true human potential. You know, one of the problems today is that nothing is black and white. And very often, to get progress in an issue, it has to be through a series of compromising. And if you're rigid and say, it's got to be this or nothing, then you may not get anywhere. And then you may get some people who'd been prepared to help say, well, this isn't working, so we're not going to help anymore. I've seen examples of that happening. So as long as you don't compromise your own values, so long as you don't do anything that you know is wrong, a series of compromises is OK, as long as you're not compromising your own values. [MUSIC PLAYING] Some of the things I see-- and especially when I began visiting the medical research labs-- were utterly shattering. And I remember the first time I went into a lab. It doesn't exist anymore. It was one of the really, really bad ones. And I was taken in to see this two-year-old. I think she was a two-year-old chimpanzee. She was called Barbie. And she was in one of these microwave ovens. I mean, it was about this wide. She could just sit in it. She couldn't lie. It was an upright thing. And I went in. I was in my mask and white coat. And they took her out and held her, and she'd obviously being drugged, or else she'd lost everything, because she was just limp like a rag doll. And they said to me, would you like to give her a piece of apple? And I looked at them and thought, they want to know if I want to give her a piece of apple. So I said, sure. And I gave her a piece of apple, and she listlessly took it, and they put her back in her cage. And I saw monkeys in tiny cages circling round, and round, and round. And by the time I'd-- this was my first lab ever. By the time I'd been round it, I came out, and I was completely shattered. I was numb. And I was taken into this room, and they brought all the top people from NIH-- this is going back some time. None of them are left now. And we were sitting around a table. It was dead silent. And I realized they were all waiting for me to speak. And it was shattered. So sometimes when you're shattered, the right words come. So I said to...

About the Instructor

There is still a window of time. Nature can win if we give her a chance. In her first ever online class, Dr. Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. You'll learn how to act locally and protect the planet.

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Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.

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