Jane Goodall, celebrated conservationist and primate expert, is apologizing after a review of her latest book "Seeds of Hope" found several lifted passages from Wikipedia and other sources without attribution.
"This was a long and well researched book and I am distressed to discover that some of the excellent and valuable sources were not properly cited, and I want to express my sincere apologies," the 78-year-old wrote in an email to The Washington Post, which discovered the plagarism. "I hope it is obvious that my only objective was to learn as much as I could so that I could provide straightforward factual information distilled from a wide range of reliable sources."
Goodall's book, which "examines the critical role that trees and plants play in our world," was found to contain no less than 12 passages borrowed from a variety of sources and often word-for-word. As the book was co-authored by veteran writer and publisher Gail Hudson (who also teamed with Goodall on two other books), it's unclear who exactly is at fault for not including the proper accreditation.
"Jane does a vast amount of her own writing," Mary Lewis, Goodall's personal assistant and vice president of outreach of the Jane Goodall Institute, told The Guardian. "It was a complicated and thoroughly researched book. Gail [Hudson, the co-author] worked closely with her. This has been blown out of all proportion."
While publisher Grand Central expressed surprise at the Post's findings, it does not appear that the issue will delay the book's planned release date of April 2. “We have not formulated a detailed plan beyond crediting the sources in subsequent releases," a spokesperson told the Post. Goodall added that she will talk more about the unfortunate findings in an upcoming blog post on her site.