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On Language, Species, and Motherhood

Monday, Jul 6, 2020, 7:00 PM

Wendy Doniger, Jane Goodall

Online Event: On Language, Species, and Motherhood

Jane Goodall in conversation with Wendy Doniger

Chair: Susan Neiman

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In July 1960, at the age of 26, she travelled from England to what is now Tanzania and ventured into the little-known world of wild chimpanzees at Gombe. In discussing those experiences, she will examine the most striking differences in her relationships with chimpanzees and other species. How can we learn the language of animals? What are the challenges to recognizing faces in people and animals? In 1960, it was thought to be impossible for a young woman to live alone in a Tanganyikan forest. How did being a woman make her work there easier or harder? How did living with chimpanzees make her a better mother, and becoming a mother make it easier to understand chimpanzees? Dr. Goodall will discuss these and other questions with Professor Wendy Doniger.

Dr. Jane Goodall, is an ethologist and conservationist. Best known for her path-breaking 60-year study of chimpanzees in the wild, she is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Equipped with a notebook, binoculars, and a fascination with wildlife, Dr. Goodall braved a realm of unknowns to give the world a remarkable window into humankind’s closest living relatives. Through 60 years of ground-breaking work, she has not only shown us the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction; she has also redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment.

Today there are 23 Jane Goodall Institutes working to support the core programs, two sanctuaries for orphan chimpanzees, and Roots & Shoots, the Institute’s environmental and humanitarian program empowering young people of all ages to become involved in hands-on projects for their community, animals, and the environment in more than 65 countries.


Professor Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago, is the author of over forty books on Hinduism and mythology. Among their many subjects are dreams, death, evil, sex, women, and horses.

The event will be held in English

In January 2021, the Einstein Forum will begin a new series exploring the boundaries and relationships between different parts of the natural world, tentatively titled People, Things, and Animals. We are proud to present this preview of some of the topics which will be under discussion.