Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Jane Goodall & Gary Larson Story

Jerry Coyne has a nice story (via Wikipedia) about the primatologist Jane Goddall, and the (loved by many scientists) cartoonist Gary Larson:
One of Larson’s more famous cartoons shows a chimpanzee couple grooming. The female finds a blonde human hair on the male and inquires, “Conducting a little more ‘research’ with that Jane Goodall tramp?” The Jane Goodall Institute thought this was in bad taste and had their lawyers draft a letter to Larson and his distribution syndicate, in which they described the cartoon as an “atrocity”. They were stymied by Jane Goodall herself, who was in Africa at the time. When she returned and saw the cartoon, she stated that she found the cartoon amusing and later personally met Larson. Since then, all profits from sales of a shirt featuring this cartoon go to the Goodall Institute. Goodall wrote a preface to The Far Side Gallery 5, detailing her version of the “Jane Goodall Tramp” controversy. She praised Larson’s creative ideas, which often compare and contrast the behavior of humans and animals. In 1988, Larson visited Gombe Streams National Park and was attacked by Frodo, a chimp described by Goodall as a “bully.” Larson sustained cuts and bruises from the encounter.

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