In celebration of its 10th Anniversary and continued commitment to STEM workforce development, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science presents “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall,” running May 21-September 5, 2022. World-renowned conservationist and ethologist Dr. Jane Goodall — who has famously studied chimpanzees in the wild for more than 60 years — is celebrated in this special exhibition, produced in partnership with the National Geographic Society and the Jane Goodall Institute.
“As we continue to commemorate our 10th Anniversary, we are committed to bringing world-class exhibitions, such as ‘Becoming Jane,’ to the Museum because experiential learning is essential to building the most talented and diverse STEM workforce,” said Dr. Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum. “This exhibition and its exploration of Dr. Goodall’s legacy offers enriching educational experiences to inspire minds of all ages.”
Dr. Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace, dedicated her career to studying the lives of chimpanzees. Widely known for her innovative approach to animal behavior research, Dr. Goodall traveled to what is now Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park and immersed herself in observing chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Rather than seeing the animals as subjects, she came to regard them as individuals with personalities and emotions — a notion once rejected by the scientific world, yet now considered revolutionary. A woman ahead of her time, Dr. Goodall’s story — one of fearless determination, curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge and a passionate love of the natural world — has resonated with generations of people around the globe.
“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 establishing herself as a renowned scientist in Gombe, Tanzania, to her present role as an activist and mentor for creating a better world for life on Earth.
“What’s remarkable about Dr. Goodall is how young she was when she began her research in Africa, and with little scientific training in a male-dominated industry,” said Dr. Silver. “She is an exemplary role model, specifically for young women in science. Visitors to this exhibition from all backgrounds will be impacted by her unprecedented accomplishments and bold tenacity.”
As guests enter the exhibition, they embark on a journey to the jungles of Africa via a multiscreen experience that introduces Dr. Goodall’s extraordinary work, alongside surprising encounters with virtually rendered chimpanzees. Nearby, a life-size replica of Dr. Goodall’s research tent provides a hands-on experience where visitors can envision themselves as scientists jotting down observations in their field journals. In addition to an immersive projection of Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park, the exhibition features a variety of interactive augmented reality (AR) activities, including one where visitors can test their skills at matching the “chimp chat” of a chimpanzee.
A makeshift campsite beckons guests to gather around as they hear from a hologram-like projection of Dr. Goodall who shares her memories of Gombe and recalls her thoughts, feelings, impressions and lessons learned while living among chimpanzees. Guests can also get 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 Dr. Goodall’s footsteps.
“Jane Goodall has been inspiring National Geographic audiences, young and old, for over half a century,” said Kathryn Keane, vice president of public programming at the National Geographic Society. “This exhibition allows us to experience her amazing life story in a highly personal and powerful way. Through immersive media, authentic scenic 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.”
The exhibition concludes with a call to action from Dr. Goodall to join her, the Jane Goodall Institute and National Geographic in an effort to ensure a more sustainable future for all. Visitors to the exhibition can join Dr. Goodall in her efforts to conserve the natural world by pledging to make a positive change in their daily routines and contributing to the Tree of Hope.