Jane Goodall apologizes over book content

March 19, 2013 at 6:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- British primatologist Jane Goodall has apologized for a book she co-authored using passages borrowed without attribution from a variety of websites.

"Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants," co-authored with Gail Hudson, tells how botanists at the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens in London have successfully germinated 200-year-old seeds preserved in the Millennium Seed Bank.

The book includes borrowings ranging from phrases to an entire paragraph from websites such as Wikipedia and others, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

"This was a long and well researched book," Goodall said in an email, "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."

Some of the borrowed material focused on astrology, tobacco, beer, nature and organic tea, the Post said.

"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 said in her email.

Co-author Hudson, described as a freelance writer, former spirituality editor for Amazon and longtime devotee of organic foods and holistic living, said she had no comment.

With the book set for release next month, Goodall said she would correct future editions.

In an email to the Post, the book's publisher, Grand Central, said it was surprised to "hear of the assertions."

"We have not formulated a detailed plan beyond crediting the sources in subsequent releases," it said.

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