Jane Goodall

<p>Once again in honor of Women's History Month and to offset the damage done by Lawrence Summers, I am focusing on a great woman scientist, the renown primatologist <a href="http://www.wic.org/bio/jgoodall.htm">Jane Goodall</a>.  Jane Goodall faced many obstacles to her being accepted by the scientific academic community. As Jane initiated her scientific career, she did not have formal scientific training, and went about her data gathering in an unconventional manner.  Some of Jane's strategies included naming the individual chimpanzees that she studied, rather than numbering them, and recording information about chimpanzees' vivid personalities.  It was Jane who shook our understanding of what it is to be human by observing chimps using tools to gather food.  At this time it was assumed only humans used tools.  </p><p>One may ask how a women without (at least initially) formal scientific training could become a world-famous primatologist.  It was the brilliance of <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/boleak.html">Louis Leakey</a> to recognize the limitations of formal scientific methodologies.  He intentionally looked for someone with intelligence, but no formal science background.  Jane had been serving as his personal secretary, and the rest is history.  Jane did pursue and receive her PhD, but not before making startling discoveries.  She continues to be a tireless advocate for conservation education through her institutes, the <a href="http://www.janegoodall.org/jane/default.asp">Jane Goodall Institutes</a>.  Imagine if this different-thinking woman would have been silenced by a Lawrence Summers of her time!</p>

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