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British primatologist Jane Goodall awarded prestigious Premi Internacional Catalunya

Jane Goodall, British anthropologist and primatologist, has been awarded the 27th Premi Internacional Catalunya, which is the most prestigious prize given by the Catalan Government and recognises outstanding people who have contributed to humankind’s development and progress through their careers. The award follows the decision of an independent jury formed of high-profile professionals from Catalonia and abroad. The jury has unanimously chosen Goodall from a list of 152 candidates for the prize from 52 different countries for her “scientific, empirical and committed work”. She is considered one of the most important experts in animal behaviour thanks to her more than 50 years research in Gombe Stream National Park, in Tanzania, studying the behaviour of chimpanzees. Previous awardees include Desmond Tutu, Lula da Silva, Haruki Murakami, Jimmy Carter, Karl Popper, Jacques Delors, Aung San Suu Kyi, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Amartya Sen, among others. The award ceremony will take place in Barcelona on the 27th of July.

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18 May 2015 09:27 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Jane Goodall, British anthropologist and primatologist, has been awarded the 27th Premi Internacional Catalunya, which is the most prestigious prize given by the Catalan Government and recognises outstanding people who have contributed to humankind’s development and progress through their careers. The award follows the decision of an independent jury formed of high-profile professionals from Catalonia and abroad. The jury has unanimously chosen Goodall from a list of 152 candidates for the prize from 52 different countries for her “scientific, empirical and committed work”. She is considered one of the most important experts in animal behaviour thanks to her more than 50 years research in Gombe Stream National Park, in Tanzania, studying the behaviour of chimpanzees. The award ceremony will be on the 27th of July at 7pm at the Generalitat Palace, the Barcelona building hosting the office of the Catalan President.


Last year, the Premi Internacional Catalunya was awarded to Desmond Tutu, the South-African Archbishop who fought the Apartheid regime, for his “vigorous and constant fight for social justice and the improvement of living conditions of oppressed people”. Previous awardees include Lula da Silva, Haruki Murakami, Jimmy Carter, Karl Popper, Jacques Delors, Aung San Suu Kyi, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Amartya Sen and Mstislav Rostropovich, among others.

On Monday, Artur Mas, President of the Catalan Government, announced the 27th Premi Internacional Catalunya from the Gothic Gallery in Palau de la Generalitat. “This year we have the privilege and honour to grant the award to Jane Goodall. Everyone knows her, [she is] a person who has been on several occasions in our country and whose career we want to distinguish”, said Mas. “I am convinced that there will be many people in our country and from the international scene that will value this jury’s decision with a very high mark”, pointed out the President of the Catalan Government before giving the floor to Xavier Rubert de Ventós, President of Premi Internacional Catalunya.

“For her triple scientific, empirical and committed work”

The philosopher Rubert de Ventós emphasised that this year there occurred something rather unusual: the jury reached a unanimous decision to grant the award. The jury’s President stressed that Godall has been awarded the Internacional Catalunya Prize “for her triple scientific, empirical and committed work. On one hand, her important scientific contribution has helped to better comprehend nature, culture and human behaviour. On the other hand, this recognition of her work helps to promote the solidarity of humans, sustainability of their environment and the peace between them”, stated de Ventós.

“The award strengthens my bond with Catalonia”

Ferran Guallar, Director of the ‘Jane Goodall Institute’, read the thank you letter from the British primatologist. “I feel very honoured for being the winner of this prestigious international award and I am deeply thankful for the jury’s choice. I am pleased to strengthen my bond with Catalonia, a community with a big natural and cultural heritage that I have visited on several occasions – and where I have always been really well welcomed – and has achieved important advances regarding animal and environmental protection”, wrote Goodall.

“I appreciate that this award values not only the scientific research with wild chimpanzees, but also the task of promoting solidarity, peace and sustainability education values, including among young people, which is still one of my priorities, in order to make a better world for everyone”, added the British scientist in the letter, who is also a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

“I want to reiterate my gratitude for this award, particularly to everyone who has made it possible; I will happily come back again to Catalonia this July to receive the award and to share this special moment with all of you”, she said in conclusion.

Some of the people receiving the Premi Internacional Catalunya

Last year, the Premi Internacional Catalunya was awarded to Desmond Tutu, the South-African Archbishop who fought the Apartheid regime. Other awardees in the prize’s 27 year history include: Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, former United States President Jimmy Carter, Catalan bishop Pere Casaldáliga, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, US writer Harold Bloom, British writer Doris Lessing, former European Commission President Jacques Delors, Indian economist Amartya Sen, French sociologist Edgar Morin, Russian musician Mstislav Rostropovich and British philosopher Karl Popper.

The prize has been given to two people on a number of occasions, such as in 2013 to former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland and to the young Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai; in 2008 to Myanmar’s Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar’s doctor and activist Cynthia Maung; in 2004 to Palestinian philosopher Sari Nusseibeh and Israeli writer Amos Oz; and in 1995, when it went to the former Czech Republic President Václav Havel and Germany’s former President Richard von Weizsäcker.

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  • Jane Goodall in the CosmoCaixa science museum, in one of her seldom visits to Barcelona (by CosmoCaixa)

  • Jane Goodall in the CosmoCaixa science museum, in one of her seldom visits to Barcelona (by CosmoCaixa)
Interview with British primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall from 2007