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Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Jane Goodall on instinct

6 minutes

From Tarzan to Tanzania – how a dream of living with animals changed primatology

Perhaps the world’s best-known primatologist, Jane Goodall was an unlikely candidate for international fame when, at the request of her mentor Louis Leakey, she traveled to Tanzania to live among chimpanzees before she had earned even an undergraduate degree. Unexpectedly, her discovery that chimps craft and use tools would forever change how scientists view not only our closest relatives, but our own species as well. Fancifully animated from a 2002 interview with Science Friday’s Ira Flatow, this piece finds Goodall discussing everything from the possible existence of yetis to her uneasy relationship with traditional academia.

Producer: Amy Drozdowska, David Gerlach

Video by Quoted Studios

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

Essay/Earth Science
Life goes deeper

The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms

Gaetan Borgonie & Maggie Lau