How well do you know the story of your favorite childhood hero?

Could knowing where they came from, and how they got to where they are have opened the doors of possibility for you?

Many of us have heard of Dr. Jane Goodall, the British primatologist who is widely considered the world’s primary expert on chimpanzees. As a self-proclaimed natural history nerd, I thought I knew her story, but as we all know, people tell their own stories better than anybody else can.

The creators of the fabulous project Blank on Blank, a PBS web series that revives forgotten interviews and sets them to animation, has created a remarkable series called The Experimenters that explores interviews with icons of science, innovation, and technology.

This incredible interview with Ira Flatow, for the NPR show, Science Friday, done in 2002, is a beautiful tale of what happens when a passion becomes a life-long labor of love. Here is Jane with her own, remarkable story…

I consider Jane Goodall one of my first heroes and listening to this interview reminds me why.

The importance of Jane Goodall’s story…

Jane Goodall is a testament to what grit and passion can do to change the world. Her work irrevocably changed how we see ourselves as a part of the natural world, and for that alone she has altered the course of history. Perhaps what is most remarkable about Jane Goodall’s story is its relatability.  She set off into the world with a passion, and defying all conventions of how one becomes a scientific researcher, she became one of the most prominent and well-known researchers in the modern era.

How are we to know that possibility exists out there if we do not share the stories of those who have opened up the doors before us and set out on journies to break down barriers? The stories of how we get to where we are are as important as our discoveries and our triumphs. These stories are what mean the most to the next generation. They are a beacon of hope and possibility on the horizon that says “you are capable of achieving your dreams.” How are we to know that every adventurer, every pioneer, has had hardship if we don’t share those stories with those trying to follow in their footsteps?

I hope you consider sharing this story with any young, budding, animal lover, who knows, it may just help them become another incredible advocate for this planet!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!



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Or just scroll down to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a few of my favorite articles that continue a few of the trains of thought here!


  1. The Experimenters, “Jane Goodall’s Instinct | The Experimenters | Blank on Blank.” Vimeo. Quoted Studios, 17 Mar. 2015. Web. 05 Feb. 2016. <>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV