December 7, 2004

Goodall Says Environment at ‘Crossroads’

SINGAPORE (AP) -- Biologist Jane Goodall brought her trademark message to Singapore on Tuesday: human beings and chimpanzees are more alike than one would think.

To prove it, Goodall imitated the laugh of a chimpanzee before a surprised audience of 300 students and university lecturers at an international conference. It sounded a lot like a human laugh, though more high-pitched.

Goodall, known for decades of research on chimpanzees' behavior, told the crowd at the Biology in Asia International Conference that individuals must act to conserve the environment.

"We are at the crossroads, we can't have hope forever," she said.

The 70-year-old Briton, who holds a doctorate in ethology from Cambridge University, urged scientists to carry out further research.

"I hope that young Singaporean biologists will find out more," she said.

The conference, held at Nanyang Technological University, ends Friday.

Singapore is one of Asia's top research destinations.