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Science & Tech

Opening a Dialogue

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 15:02 min

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

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

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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.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

This class not only has tout me about all similarities we share with animals but also has giving me hope to take action and use what its in my hands to make life in this planet better for us all.

That people can destroy the planet, but we can also change so that and make the plant better again.

This class will change your life!! When your ready the teacher will appear!

This is my first 'completed' class. I somehow decided to soak in Jane Goodall's soothing voice on the first go, I found the family workbook cute, yet, I have to go back to it. Jane is inspiring, I will sleep over the lessons and definitely wake up refreshed.


Bernardo F.

There's no better way to approach people. We have to understand that, like it or not, we humans are a species in the environment, we use resources, we produce waste, and we interact with other organisms. The key is to coexist in the best way possible, in a win-win scheme. There are many different cultures and each mind is a world, trying to convince all people that conservation is important is not that easy, but if you show them how they can do it and also what are the benefits we all can get, then things change. About science being objective... well, that's how science works. Sharing information objectively doesn't mean that you can not put your heart on it, you have here the lesson of Neil deGrasse Tyson, and surely he's putting all his heart on communicating efectively.

A fellow student

Dear Masterclass, please make this masterclass free on your website. Her message is so so important...!

Diana H.

"Head and heart woking in harmony is how we achieve our true human potential"-JG Her point of view on communicating with the people who were opposed to her such as with the Dr.'s doing research to fight AIDS. She also mentions speaking with farmers in Nebraska and how conservationists can work with farmers to help them live and make money and protect the land and the species. These stories give hope and restore the spirit

Andrew Stephen L.

Is there a “Shop Local Logo? “ perhaps designing one we could use worldwide 🌎 would be something we could all recognize at a glance x

Louanne F.

Jane has the answer when it comes to compromise - find the benefit in what you want that will help the other side as well. That should be a goal for all of us in difficult negotiations. There has to be a middle ground in every argument, and it's well worth the effort to find it, because that is where the solution will be found.

Katerina V.

Some of this actually made me cry - even without ever being in a test lab, I can only imagine the horror and pain Jane must have felt seeing those animals in such appalling conditions. Yet, she was able to have a conversation with the people about changing the situation. That takes some skill and a strength of personality, and of course a thorough knowledge of the subject, and I truly admire you Dr Goodall for the calm and openness with which you are able to communicate. Being able to listen with one's heart is a big pillar of a successful dialogue.

Kalia D.

"Sometimes when you're shattered, the right words come. 'I can't imagine that any person who was caring and who had any humanity in them would not feel as I feel. And I imagine you're all caring, compassionate people. Let's talk about what we can do to make a difference today. It was such the right thing to say; I could not have thought of it, but it came. That led to a dialogue." - "I would try and get a feeling for who he is, inside of everything that he is saying. Inside of all of that is probably a different person, somewhere hidden." - As RWE wrote: to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius.

Patrick D.

I don't wanna... I am dragging my feet. The inequality between the 1% and the 99% grassroots. Most challenging lesson for me. I was going to challenge Jane about this on. But I think she is using her renewed strategy from Gombe. Determination, courage, standing firm on principle and patience. Once the fog of my emotions settle, I can see her rational and patient approach. Patience with chimps, the environment, ourselves, Jane, and the 1%. Thank you Jane for this lesson. It is amazing what can be coax from the mind.

Patrick D.

I was reading my classmates concern with the extinction of the white rhino and many other species. Their extinction, also, means the possible extinction of their microbiome (which includes the associated virome, viruses). These species may be an unknown? Conservation is preserving the known and the unknown!? How do we communicate that to a CEO? You can not unknow what you know. Yoko Ono

Mia S.

"It took me into places I'd prefer to have not been - I didn't want to see those things, but I felt I couldn't talk about them; I couldn't have any moral high ground to talk about those things if I hadn't actually seen and experienced them. From the point of view of ethics, pointing out these chimpanzees are so like us. The message is not always being understood, we have to find ways to get into the heart. Farmers, because it's a tough life now to farm, they were trying to get the very most use out of their lands. Only if the farmers of the local community work with conservationists, and only if the conservation can actually benefit the farmers around the area that we want to conserve, only then is it going to be successful. I asked them to talk about the problems they faced, and we started a discussion, and gradually this lead farmer relaxed and sat back and said, 'I didn't know you'd be like this, I thought you'd be just one of those conservationists who just wants us to go to hell because they want the land for their birds. We had a really good conversation, we talked about the importance of having strips of wildlife between the fields. We talked about, How could they make money off of this? Maybe help I could help promote tourism to this part of Nebraska; maybe we could all benefit. Now, many of the farmers are actually benefitting from increased tourism, and some farmers have turned all their land over to wildlife and saving the prairie chickens and the sharp-tailed grouse. It's becoming quite a place for conservationists to go. Try and get a feeling for who he is inside of everything that he's saying, because people don't always say who they are, they say what they think of to say to make people think the way they want them to. But inside of that there's probably a different person somewhere hidden."