Jane Goodall on Empathy and How to Reach Our Highest Human Potential

In this wonderful short video from NOVA’s series The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers, Dr. Goodall considers how empathy for other animals brings us closer to our highest human potentiality:

“I was told you have to give them numbers because you’ve got to be objective as a scientist, and you mustn’t empathize with your subjects and I feel this is where science has gone wrong. To have this coldness, this lack of empathy has enabled some scientist to do unethical behavior.

Moreover, why deny a perfectly respectable tool?  I think  those two are behaving like that because that’s how I would behave if I was in that situation, that’s empathy. Once you’ve worked out why you think they are doing that,  then you can start testing that. Am I right? Is this a valid assumption or not?  But it gives you the groundwork for asking questions,

I think empathy is really important and I think only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our full potential. “   

Jane Goodall

by Maria Popova