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Jane Goodall visits Ohio State campus, discusses conservation, career as a primatologist

An Evening With Dr. Jane Goodall' March 25.

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Renowned primatologist and activist Jane Goodall spoke Monday night with a passion that some attendees said caught on.

Her lecture, “Sowing the Seeds of Hope: An Evening with Dr. Jane Goodall,” drew more than 1,400 people, filling nearly every seat in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom of the Ohio Union.

Goodall spoke on her early career as a primatologist and the need for conservation efforts to protect animals such as the chimpanzees she has studied so closely. She said she’s been told by young people that her generation has compromised the planet, and Goodall said she agreed.

“We have not been borrowing, we have been stealing the future of our children, we’re still stealing the future of our children,” Goodall said. “I completely agree with these young people who said we compromised their future but I refuse to believe that there’s nothing that can be done about that.”

Goodall urged audience members to get involved in conservation efforts by joining Roots & Shoots, a youth program run through the Jane Goodall Institute that organizes community projects and campaigns around solving environmental and humanitarian issues.

“So many people want to help but they don’t know what to do, and that’s why Roots & Shoots is so great for youth, because it enables every single young person to do something to make a difference and that gives you the hope for the future,” Goodall said.

Celeste Redman, a second-year graduate student in the Counselor Education program, said Goodall’s mission to get young people involved with conservation hit close to home.

“I work in an elementary school. Right now I’m an intern where we have Roots & Shoots, so I learned more about the history of it and where it started and where it came from,” Redman said. “And I just feel like her passion is contagious.”

Jordan Etzel, a fourth-year in psychology, said she heard about the event from a friend and was excited to attend.

“I’d always been kind of fascinated by Jane Goodall growing up just because she’s done a lot with primates and human rights activism … she just makes a really big difference,” Etzel said. “I think it’s cool that she looks for ways to get younger generations involved (in conservation).”

The event was brought to Ohio State through the Ohio Union Activities Board. A representative from OUAB declined to comment on the cost of the event.

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