The legacy of Dr. Jane Goodall is one that many admire. Now, student groups could explore it further thanks to the National Geographic Society and Jane Goodall Institute, which have partnered to produce Becoming Jane, a new immersive, multimedia exhibition at the National Geographic Museum, available through summer 2020.
Becoming Jane explores Dr. Goodall’s life, from her early years as an intrepid young woman with a dream to learn about animals in Africa, to her years establishing herself as a renowned scientist in Gombe, Tanzania, to her present role as an activist, mentor, and advocate for creating a better world for all life on Earth.
Widely known for her innovative approach to animal behavioral research, Goodall traveled to what is now Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park and immersed herself in observing chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Her work studying the lives of chimpanzees in the wild captured the imagination of the world. Rather than seeing the animals as subjects, she came to know them as individuals with personalities and emotions—a notion once rejected by the scientific world, yet now considered revolutionary.
Her story—one of fearless determination, curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge and passionate love of the natural world—has resonated with generations of people around the globe. The impact of Goodall’s inspiring life is the focus of this exhibition, which will celebrate her enduring legacy and the 60th anniversary of her arrival in Gombe and the start of her prolific career.
Her work in Gombe, for which she received grants from the National Geographic Society, was the subject of National Geographic’s first television documentary. Goodall’s decades-long career has also been covered in many magazine stories and subsequent films, including the Emmy Award-winning Jane, directed by Brett Morgen in 2018.
“Jane Goodall has been inspiring National Geographic audiences, young and old, for almost 60 years,” said Kathryn Keane, vice president of public programming, National Geographic Society. “This exhibition allows us to experience her amazing life story in a highly personal and powerful way. Through immersive media, authentic scenics and interactives, this exhibition takes visitors into the field and around the world with Jane, walking in her shoes and experiencing her powerful message of hope firsthand.”
Exhibition highlights include:
- A multiscreen experience where visitors are introduced to Goodall’s extraordinary work, alongside surprising encounters with virtually rendered chimpanzees.
- A replica of Goodall’s research tent where, in a hands-on experience, visitors can envision themselves as scientists jotting down observations in their field journal.
- A hologram-like projection of Goodall, who shares her memories in Gombe and recalls her thoughts, feelings, impressions, and lessons learned while living among chimpanzees.
- A virtual-3D expedition to Gombe Stream National Park.
- Interactive augmented reality (AR) activities, including one in which visitors can test their skills at matching the pant-hoot vocalization of a chimpanzee.
- Updates on the current state of Gombe Stream National Park and the chimpanzee range in Africa, along with the work of the innovative scientists and conservationists who are following in Goodall’s footsteps.
- A call to action to visitors from Goodall to join her, the Jane Goodall Institute and National Geographic in an effort to ensure a more sustainable future for us all.
- A pledge station where visitors can share what actions they will take to help Goodall in her mission.
Courtesy of Teach & Travel.
Photo courtesy of Hugo van Lawick.