Dame Jane Goodall

Michael Neugenbauer

Photograph: Michael Neugenbauer

Women in science are few and far between, especially those that stand to make a real change. Dame Jane Goodall pioneered the study of primatology with her 45 year study on chimpanzees in Tanzania. As a 26 year old heading to the African jungle without a degree, a mother as a companion, and only 6 months worth of funding, Goodall was lucky enough to witness the first accounts of chimpanzees using tools. Her discovery resulted in further funding from National Geographic, which later led to a Cambridge phD, numerous honorary degrees, awards, and international recognition. Perhaps her most interesting accomplishment was to be the only human to ever be accepted into chimpanzee society.

Amongst greats such as Marie Curie, Rachel Carson, and Rosalind Franklin, Goodall is regularly recognized amongst one of the most notable women in science. Nowadays, women are being encouraged by governments and Universities to address the male-domination of the industry; the Scottish government is funding £250,000 to boost the number of female applicants of these subjects at Universities.

Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute promotes primate care and community research, set up initially to combat themes of poverty and depleting resources, consequently aiding the conservation of the chimpanzees through a grass roots system. This theme of conservation via community sustainability is one that hopes to spread across the globe, and the Institute now pushes projects in over 100 countries.