British conservationist and naturalist Jane Goodall has been presented with a prestigious award for her work in ‘harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.’
Previous winners have included the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu and other religious figures. However Jane’s win comes as more religious leaders are speaking out about the need to protect nature as part of their faith.
Heather Templeton Dill, president of the John Templeton Foundation, said:
“Her discoveries have profoundly altered the world’s view of animal intelligence and enriched our understanding of humanity in a way that is both humbling and exalting. Ultimately, her work exemplifies the kind of humility, spiritual curiosity, and discovery that my grandfather, John Templeton, wrote and spoke about during his life.”
Jane Goodall is a renowned environmentalist and explorer who set off to Gombe, Tanzinia, to study chimpanzees, making many discoveries in her long term research into chimpanzee society about their behavior, diet and interactions with one another. Crucially, she was the first person to note tool-use in the chimps, something that had only previously been used to define humans and distinguish other animals from them. In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute to ensure that her vision and life’s work continue to mobilize action across the globe.
Huge congratulations to Jane!