Legend. Lessons. Hope. | Dr. Jane Goodall on The Tim Ferriss Show

Check out The Tim Ferriss Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • “There’s the making of a little scientist: curiosity, asking questions, not getting the right answers, deciding to find out for yourself, making a mistake, not giving up and learning patience” – Jane Goodall
  • Chimps are a lot like humans, they have the ability to save others but they can also kill others
    • “It seems obvious to me that we’ve inherited from our common ancestor traits of aggression and also traits of compassion and empathy” – Jane Goodall
  • Jane wishes people were as serious as climate change as they are with COVID-19
    • “Our leaders have not listened to science, the big corporations have not listened to science…now we’re in this materialistic money-grabbing age” – Jane Goodall
      • “We have too many presidents and prime ministers who seem to be more concerned for their own advancement, their own careers, their own power, their own acquisition of wealth, than for the good of the people who elected them”  
  • Children should spend more time reading books and less time watching TV
    • “I think it’s very sad that so many children don’t get to read more and have all this television all the time” – Jane Goodall
  • Changing the world is tough but not impossible
    • “All is not lost, there’s still a lot we can do to make this a better world” – Jane Goodall 
  • Tim asks Jane what message she wishes she could put on every billboard in the world:
    • “Remember that you make a difference every single day” – Jane Goodall

Intro

  • Dr. Jane Goodall (@JaneGoodallInst) is an English primatologist and anthropologist.
    • The next chapter of Dr. Jane Goodall’s life’s work unfolds in a brand-new documentary, Jane Goodall: The Hope, premiering on Earth Day, April 22nd, 
  •  Host: Tim Ferriss (@tferriss)

Books Mentioned

Jane’s Background

  • Jane was born in England and experienced the German bombers during the second World War
    • However, she was glad to grow up during those hard times because she learned not to take anything for granted
      • Chocolate and books were a rare and valued resource
  • Jane hadan innate curiosity for science
    • Her mother was supportive and let Jane spend time with animals and nature
  • “There’s the making of a little scientist: curiosity, asking questions, not getting the right answers, deciding to find out for yourself, making a mistake, not giving up and learning patience”Jane Goodall

How Jane Landed A Dream Job

  • After talking to a friend about animals at a party, the friend suggested Jane call up the famous paleontologist Louis Leakey and discuss animals with him
    • Louis was also impressed by how much Jane knew about Africa and believed that women were more patient and observant than men. Although Jane hadn’t been to college, she had taken a secretary course and Louis was in need of one so he hired her.
      • At the time, Louis wanted to study chimpanzees to learn more about human evolution

First Encounter With Chimps

  • Jane wasn’t immediately welcomed by chimpanzees. At first the pack would run away, but one chimp stayed behind and let Jane get close to him
    • It took almost 6 months before she could get close to the whole group
      • “The first time I came close to a group that didn’t run away, I think, was one of the proudest moments of my life” Jane Goodall
  • While observing chimps Jane saw one of them use tools to fish for terminates, because of that discovery the study received additional funding
    • She later observed that they weren’t vegetarian and they sometimes eat other primates

Chimps Can Be Good & Bad

  • Chimps are a lot like humans, they can save others but they can harm others
    • “With a chimpanzee, they’re so like us, behaviorally and biologically”Jane Goodall
  • Jane tells a story of a safari keeper who built a connection with a previously abused chimp 
    • One day, the keeper was attacked by some other chimps but the chimp that he had built a connection with came and scared away the attacking chimps
      • “If a chimpanzee who’s been abused by people can reach out to help a human friend in a time of need then surely we with our greater capacity for compassion can do the same to the chimpanzees in their time of need” – Jane Goodall
  • Chimps can go to war, Jane observed the Gombe Chimpanzee War
    • Sometimes after winning a battle, the chimps who won will eat their dead enemies
  • “It seems obvious to me that we’ve inherited from our common ancestor traits of aggression and also traits of compassion and empathy”Jane Goodall

Thoughts on COVID-19 & Society

  • Jane wishes people were as serious as climate change as they are with COVID-19
    • “Our leaders have not listened to science, the big corporations have not listened to science…now we’re in this materialistic money-grabbing age”Jane Goodall
      • “We have too many presidents and prime ministers who seem to be more concerned for their own advancement, their own careers, their own power, their own acquisition of wealth, than for the good of the people who elected them”  
  • China is talking about banning wet markets but they still allow the sale of wild animals for medicine

Jane’s Non-profit Organization

  • Jane founded Roots & Shoots with the goal of bringing together youth from preschool to university age to work on environmental, conservation and humanitarian issues
    • In the rainforest, every species matters and plays an important role, Jane thinks of humans in the same light
      • The children work on 3 projects: one that helps people, one that helps animals, and one that helps the environment
        • “When young people understand the problems and we empower them to take action and listen to their voices, it’s quite extraordinary”Jane Goodall
  • Students work on restoring wetlands, installing recycling bins, planting organic gardens in the school, raising money for earthquake victims, and similar projects
    • The Roots & Shoots program is in over 1,700 schools

Hope For A Better Future

  • Everyone plays a role in society and everyone’s actions have consequences, even small choices
    • Make ethical choices in life that will move society in the right direction
      • Don’t buy child labor products or food that isn’t sustainably sourced
  • Jane is hopeful for the future because of two things 
    • The youth: “They’re just so inspiring” – Jane Goodall
    • The explosion in technology: Social media connects billions and we’re working on sending rockets to Mars
      • “How odd that this most intellectual creature is destroying its only home so there seems to be this disconnect between the clever brain and the human heart”  
  • “If government would sponsor clean, green energy rather than succumbing to their ties with the oil and gas industry, we could be more or less of the grid in many countries today” Jane Goodall
  • We have to solve the poverty problem because people who are poor think about their next meal or making any money to survive and often don’t have the option of focusing on the bigger picture 
  • “It’s always worth doing your best because you never know what effect that is going to have”  Jane Goodall
  • Children should spend more time reading books and less time watching TV
    • “I think it’s very sad that so many children don’t get to read more and have all this television all the time” – Jane Goodall
  • Changing the world is tough but not impossible
    • “All is not lost, there’s still a lot we can do to make this a better world”Jane Goodall

Jane’s Message To The World

  • Tim asks Jane what message she wishes she could put on every billboard in the world:
    • “Remember that you make a difference every single day”Jane Goodall

Additional Notes

  • What’s Jane’s next big adventure? Dying
    • “When we die there’s either nothing which is fine or there’s something, and if there’s something, what an adventure to find out” – Jane Goodall
  • Chimps can contract polio from humans
  • Jane observed that chimp mothers who took better care of their babies, often grew up to reach higher levels of dominance in the hierarchy and had more offspring
    • The best mothers loved to play with their babies
  • Jane has always loved writing and her first dream job was to be a writer
Tim Ferriss Show : , , , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

More Notes on these topics

The best ideas from the world’s best podcasts in minutes

Get the 10 Best Ideas/Tips/Tricks from over 10 hours of the best podcasts every week, FREE

No Thanks