It was indeed a special experience tonight to thank Jane Goodall personally for inspiring me since I was a child, to embrace hands and chat with a now 76-year-old woman who has used her life to so significantly contribute to making the change she wants to see. Studying primates since 1960, Jane has made tremendous contributions to science (the discovery of chimpanzees' modification and use of tools), psychology (the effect of the maternal and familial bond on youth development, and the discovery of social and emotional primate behavior), conservation of the natural world, and the launch of a global social movement (rootsandshoots.org) to motivate humans to "...learn to live in harmony with the natural world, because...we need to."
Dr. Goodall spoke from her podium at Leiden University tonight of resilience and hope, despite the ecological and social trauma our world has endured. "You must never give up. There's always a way forward," she quoted her friend Gary Horn. "If we lose hope, there is no hope."