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International Cosmos Prize

The Prizewinner 2017

Name Dr. Jane Goodall
Born on April 3, 1934
Nationality United Kingdom
Title Founder, Jane Goodall Institute
UN Messenger of Peace

Reason for Awarding

Ever since 1960, when Dr. Jane Goodall first began to study wild chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania, she has remained dedicated to her research. By clarifying the ecology and behavior of wild chimpanzees, she has illuminated the true nature of humans.

With her deep understanding of wild chimpanzees―our evolutional neighbors―Dr. Goodall has clarified the evolutionary origins of human nature. To put it another way, her studies of wild chimpanzees based on long-term observations epitomize her contribution to an enriched understanding of the interrelationships and integration among living organisms when seen from a global perspective. In terms of the ideal mode of study activities advocated by the International Cosmos Prize, her contributions can be largely summarized into the following three aspects.

Firstly, Dr. Goodall was the world’s first researcher to elucidate the ecology and behavior of wild chimpanzees. She discovered that chimpanzees make and use tools, as represented by termite fishing. She also reported that they eat and share meat, and pointed out the importance of the long-term mother-child bond observed in chimpanzees. Among Dr. Goodall’s recent achievements is her contribution to painting a complete picture of wild chimpanzees, in collaboration with other research sites in Africa. Specifically, she and her colleagues found that chimpanzee groups living in different regions, such as Gombe, Mahale, and Bossou, have different cultures of tool use, and have calculated chimpanzees’ life expectancy (about 50 years), birth rate (once every five years or so) and other demographic variables, as well as the frequency of fratricide (153 cases where chimpanzees killed other chimpanzees). So what are human beings? In response to this question, it can be said that her research on wild chimpanzees has demonstratively showed the true nature of humans and their evolutionary origin.

Secondly, Dr. Goodall created a paradigm in animal wildlife research, consisting of long-term continuous fieldwork based on ethological observations of individually recognized animals. This has now become a standard research methodology commonly used for elephants, giraffes, lions and other large endangered animals. Moreover, Dr. Goodall’s scope of activities is not limited to the academic field. She has pursued her fieldwork in conjunction with practical conservation initiatives, including tree-planting programs and environmental education activities. To be more specific, she has conducted afforestation programs to preserve forests that provide habitats for chimpanzees, and the Lake Tanganyika Catchment Reforestation and Education (TACARE) program, which is an environmental educational project designed for local community residents. In summary, Dr. Goodall differentiates her own work from conventional long-term field research activities, in that it is connected with practical conservation activities.

Thirdly, Dr. Goodall is the originator and founder of Roots & Shoots (R & S), an environmental educational program, under which now more than 150,000 groups are actively working in 99 countries around the world. Characteristically, Roots & Shoots promotes environmental awareness campaigns inspiring young people to voluntarily take action to make a difference. Their grass-roots activities aim to make positive change “for people, for animals and for the environment.” For details, please visit the website https://www.rootsandshoots.org/.

Dr. Goodall has been designated as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, for her highly acclaimed environmental education activities. Launched in 1991, Roots & Shoots has a history that’s a quarter-century long. The International Cosmos Prize is awarded for research work that addresses all life phenomena in the natural world and their relationship with humans, as well as humans as part of nature. Roots & Shoots could be described as an attempt in which such research work has culminated in environmental learning campaigns that are organized and implemented by young people on their own initiatives. If not applied practically, science and research would have little value. Dr. Goodall turns 83 years old this year. Despite her great age, she is still actively traveling around the world, delivering about 300 lectures each year.

As stated above, her pioneering research on wild chimpanzees based on long-term observations has been greatly instrumental in promoting understanding of the interrelationships and integration among all living organisms from a global perspective. Dr. Goodall also proposed and founded a distinguished environmental education program that helps young people become an informed generation of conservation leaders. These achievements have made Dr. Jane Goodall a deserving recipient of the International Cosmos Prize, whose governing principle is “The Harmonious Coexistence between Nature and Mankind.


1950 School Certificate (London) with Matriculation Exemption
1952 Higher Certificate (London)
1962 Entered Cambridge University, United Kingdom,
as Ph.D. candidate in Ethology under Professor Robert Hinde
1966 Ph.D. in Ethology, Cambridge University, United Kingdom


1971-1975 Visiting Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Program of Human Biology,
Stanford University, Calif., USA
From 1973 Honorary Visiting Professor in Zoology, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
From 1974 Trustee, L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, USA
From 1976 Trustee, the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research,
Education and Conservation,USA
1987-1988 Adjunct Professor of the Department of Environmental Studies, Tufts University,
School of Veterinary Medicine, Boston, Mass., USA
1990 Associate, Cleveland Natural History Museum, Cleveland, OH, USA
1990 Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Departments of Anthropology
and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Calif., USA
1996-2002 Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University, NY, USA

Major Honors

1990 The Kyoto Prize in Basic Science, Japan
2002 The Huxley Memorial Medal, Royal Anthropological Institute of
Great Britain and Ireland
2003 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, USA
2004 Dame of the British Empire, presented by HRH Prince Charles, UK
2008 L.S.B Leakey Foundation Prize for Multidisciplinary Research on Ape and
Human Evolution (Leakey Prize), USA
2016 Life-time achievement award, International Primatological Society


1962 Nest building in a group of free-ranging chimpanzees. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 102: 455-467.
1963 Feeding behaviour of wild chimpanzees: a preliminary report.
Symp. Zool. Soc. Lond. 10: 39-48.
1963 My life with the wild chimpanzees. National Geographic 124 (2):272-308.
1964 Tool-using and aimed throwing in a community of free-living chimpanzees.
Nature. 201: 1264-1266.
1965 Chimpanzees of the Gombe Stream Reserve. In: I. DeVore (Ed).
Primate Behaviour. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
1965 New discoveries among Africa's chimpanzees. National Geographic 128 (6): 802-831.
1968 Behaviour of free-living chimpanzees of the Gombe Stream Area.
In: J.M. Cullen and C.G. Beer (Eds). >Anim. Behav. Monog. Vol. 1, Part 3.
London: Bailliere, Tindall, and Casell. pp. 165-311.
1975 Chimpanzees of Gombe National Park: 13 years of research. In: I. Eibesfeldt (Ed).
Hominisation und Verhalten. Stuttgart: Gustav Fischer Verlag. pp. 74-136.
1977 Infant-killing and cannibalism in free-living chimpanzees. In: Folia Primatol. 28: 59-282.
1983 (with T. Nishida, R.W. Wrangham, and S. Uehara.)
Local differences in plant-feeding habits of chimpanzees between
the Mahale Mountains and Gombe National Park, Tanzania. J. Human Evol. 12: 467-480.
1984 The nature of the mother-child bond and the influence of family on the
social development of free-living chimpanzees.
In: N. Kobayashi and T.B. Brazelton (Eds).
The Growing Child in Family and Society. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. pp. 47-66.
1989 (with R.W. Wrangham). Chimpanzee use of medicinal leaves.
In P. Heltne and L. Marquardt (Eds) Understanding Chimpanzees, pp. 22-37.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
1999 (with A. Whiten, McGew, W.C., Nishida, T., Reynolds, V., Sugiyama, Y. Tutin,
C.E.G., Wrangham, R.W., Boesch, C.) Cultures in chimpanzees. Nature 399, 682-5.
2001 (with Hill, K., Goodall, J, Pusey, A., Williams, J., Boesch, C., Boesch, H.,
& Wrangham, R.W.) Chimpanzee mortality in the wild. Journal of Human Evolution. 40:437-450.
2007 (with M Emery Thompson, JH Jones, AE Pusey, S Brewer-Marsden,
D Marsden, T Matsuzawa, T Nishida, V Reynolds, Y Sugiyama, RW Wrangham).
Aging and fertility patterns in wild chimpanzees provide insights into the evolution of
menopause.. Current biology: CB 17: 2150-6
2014 Wilson et al Lethal aggression in Pan is better explained
by adaptive strategies than human impacts, G Hohmann, N Itoh, K Koops,
JN Lloyd, T Matsuzawa... - Nature

Major Publications


1971 In the Shadow of Man.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin; London: Collins. Published in 48 languages.
1986 The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior.
Boston: Bellknap Press of the Harvard University Press.
Published also in Japanese and Russian.
1990 Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe.
London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Translated into more than 15 languages.
1999 Reason For Hope: A Spiritual Journey (with Phillip Berman).
New York: Warner Books, Inc. Translated into more than 13 languages.

Children's Books

1988 My Life with the Chimpanzees.
New York: Byron Preiss Visual Publications, Inc.
Translated into French, Japanese and Chinese.
Parenting's Reading-Magic Award for "Outstanding Book for Children," 1989.
1989 The Chimpanzee Family Book.
Saxonville, MA: Picture Book Studio; Munich: Neugebauer Press; London: Picture Book Studio.
Translated into more than 15 languages, including Japanese and Kiswahili.
The UNICEF Award for the best children's book of 1989.
Austrian state prize for best children's book of 1990.
1994 With Love (illustrated by Alan Marks).
New York / London: North-South Books.
Translated into German, French, Italian, and Japanese.