Goodall Gazing

At the world’s first meeting on how chimpanzees think, Jane Goodall may have been the main attraction. At the event in Chicago, Goodall, one of the most famous animal scientists in the world, gave a sold-out lecture and was followed around as she observed chimps in Lincoln Park Zoo.

Her presence alone brings attention not only to the research on the cognitive abilities of the apes, but also to their plight. According to an article in the Jackson News-Tribune:

The current "Mind of the Chimpanzee" meeting has drawn 300 of the world‘s leading primatologists to the zoo‘s Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes. It takes place against a backdrop of logging of forest habitat in Africa and growing international pressure to save chimpanzees and other apes, Goodall said.

Presenters at the conference, which ended on Sunday, discussed how chimps deceive each other, show empathy, and use tools, many of which have been recent topics in publications like The New York Times and Current Biology.

We’re not sure who benefited from the conference the most—the chimps, the public, or just the scientists. But it’s nice that people are taking time to appreciate the abilities of our closest relatives. And who would want to miss a glance of Goodall?