Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Jane Goodall's legacy of empathy, curiosity and courage

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Jane Goodall's legacy of empathy, curiosity and courage

As the iconic scientist and activist celebrates her 90th birthday, her message for younger generations is one of hope — and not fearing the next adventure.


5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

At age 90, Jane Goodall has a message for everyone: “Let your indomitable spirit make a difference.” 

Editorial Rating



  • Visionary
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


When Jane Goodall decides to share her stories, she still packs auditoriums with people inspired by her activism. Covering a presentation Goodall made in Seattle in March 2024, Claire Elise Thompson of Grist magazine reports that Goodall, 90, remains a powerful advocate for animals and the environment. After more than 25 years of research in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park, Goodall left in 1986 to harness her celebrity to fight the deforestation of Africa and cruelty in animal research. She continues to inspire audiences as she promises that the Jane Goodall Institute will keep spreading her message of involvement, activism, and optimism in the years to come.


At age 90, Jane Goodall still seeks to inspire others to take action on behalf of animals and the environment.

Days away from her 90th birthday, Jane Goodall told an audience in Seattle on March 20, 2024, that everyone must unite to “make a difference.”

Echoing the energy of a music concert, the 1,800 people packed into the Moore Theater launched into singing Happy Birthday and gave Goodall a standing ovation as she entered. Their warmth led her to reflect on the “two Janes.” One is just a “small person,” she said, but the other is the “icon” they welcomed.

Standing throughout her presentation, Goodall relayed stories of her life, praising her mother’s support for her “scientific curiosity.” She related a childhood incident as her first fieldwork. When her family visited a farm on vacation, she was given the job of collecting eggs. Curious about how a chicken lays an egg, she sat in the hen house watching for four hours before she returned to her worried mother. By then, Goodall said, she was covered with straw, ecstatically happy, and eager to tell her mother how a hen lays an...

About the Author

Claire Elise Thompson is an Associate Editor at Grist magazine, a nonprofit media company focused on covering climate change and advocating for environmental accountability.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Learners who read this summary also read