THE BLOG
12/30/2014 04:25 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2015

The Jane Effect: A New Book Celebrating Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall has had a significant impact on the lives of innumerable people around the world. A new book edited by Dale Peterson (Dr. Goodall's biographer) and me, titled The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall, contains essays written by researchers, including some who worked with Dr. Goodall, and many other people whose lives she has touched.

The seven parts of the book, highlighting Dr. Goodall's vast and wide-ranging influence cutting across age, gender, and culture, are called Jane as friend, Jane as colleague, Jane as partner, Jane as professor, Jane as naturalist, Jane as exemplar, Jane as visionary, and Jane as inspiration. The book was a gift to her on her 80th birthday. Dr. Goodall still tirelessly travels the world making huge positive differences in the lives of numerous people and nonhuman animals (animals).

The description of the book provided by the publisher, Trinity University Press, much of it taken from the book's introduction, clearly lays out why the book was compiled and highlights some of Dr. Goodall's wide-ranging contributions.

The Jane Effect contains more than 100 testimonies by Goodall's friends and colleagues honoring her as a scientific pioneer, inspiring teacher, and engaging spirit.

Jane Goodall, who turned eighty on April 3, 2014, is known around the world as a groundbreaking primatologist, the foremost expert on chimpanzees, and a passionate conservationist. In her nearly sixty-year career, Goodall has touched the hearts of millions of people. The Jane Effect is a collection of testimonies by Goodall's friends and colleagues honoring her as a scientific pioneer, inspiring teacher, devoted friend, and engaging spirit whose complex personality tends to break down usual categories. Goodall is the celebrity who transcends celebrity. The distinguished scientist who's open to nonscientific ways of seeing and thinking. The human who has lived among nonhumans. She is a thoughtful adult who possesses a child's sense of immediacy and wonder. She is a great scientific pioneer, and yet her work goes far beyond producing advances in scientific knowledge. The more than 100 original pieces in this inspirational anthology give us a sense of Goodall's amazing reach and the power of the "Jane effect."

The Jane effect speaks, in part, to Goodall's influence as a scientist and how her work has changed the way we see chimpanzees. Since chimpanzees are our closest relatives, it also speaks to how her work has altered the way we see ourselves. This achievement has had a profound impact on the professional careers of individual scientists and others interested in animal behavior and animal welfare. Add to that the number of references to Goodall in scholarly journals and books, and the testimony of a generation of distinguished scientists who were Goodall's students or early colleagues or were otherwise touched professionally by her influence, and one can begin to assemble the picture of a true original in her field.

The other -- and much less known or obvious -- aspect of the Jane effect is Goodall's personal side. She is an unusually warm and generous person who has always opened her home to visitors, her camp to colleagues and students, her attention to fellow travelers, and her heart to animals and their plight in our world. The effect of this warmth and generosity is yet unmeasured and untold, and The Jane Effect only begins to explore Goodall's impact as a scientist, a pioneer and, most importantly, a human being.

Compiling the essays for this book revealed just how influential Dr. Goodall has been. We were surprised not only by the number of people who wanted to write something, but also by the diversity of the contributions. The essays are all easy to read and many can be read to inspire youngsters, because one of Dr. Goodall's major interests centers on her global Roots & Shoots program that supports projects that help people, other animals, and various environments alike.

Note: Because so many essays were submitted, not all of them could be printed in the book. Trinity University Press will post them online after the book is formally published.