Books Jacket Copy

Jane Goodall book postponed after plagiarism issues raised

Primatologist Jane Goodall and publisher Grand Central have announced they will delay publication of Goodall's forthcoming tree-focused book "Seeds of Hope" in the wake of accusations that certain passages were plagiarized. The Washington Post noted the lack of attribution of certain passages last week.

"Together with my publisher, I have decided to postpone the release of my new book, SEEDS OF HOPE, so that we may have the necessary time to correct any unintentional errors," Goodall said in a statement released Friday. "It is important to me that the proper sources are credited, and I will be working diligently with my team to address all areas of concern."

The Post cited several passages in Goodall's book that seemed to mirror various unattributed sources. According to that report, at least 12 sections of the book seemed to have been lifted from elsewhere. The book was written with contributor Gail Hudson, a freelance writer and editor who has collaborated with Goodall before.

Originally slated for April publication, "Seeds of Hope" examines "the role that trees and plants play in our world" and Goodall's passion for conservation.  Though Goodall is best known for her work with chimpanzees, she writes in the book that she has "spent a lifetime loving plants."  She has not, however, studied plants as a scientist, and according to the Post, it is in the sections that offer detailed information on plants that "borrowing" tended to occur. 

Examples of the unattributed passages include sentences that echo word-for-word copy from the website for Choice Organic Teas, and from sites addressing the history of tobacco, astrology, beer, and nature.  Several passages also appear to have been copied from Wikipedia.

In her statement, Goodall stated, "my goal is to ensure that when this book is released it is not only up to the highest of standards, but also that the focus be on the crucial messages it conveys. It is my hope that then the meaningful conversation can resume about the harm we are inflicting on our natural environment and how we can all act together to ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a healthy planet."

In an email to the Post, Goodall admitted her error, writing, "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 want to express my sincere apologies."

ALSO:

Recent and recommended books

In Barbara Garson's 'Down the Up Escalator,' the 99% make do

Remembering Chinua Achebe, a writer who connected us to the world

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Chinua Achebe's literary legacy
    Chinua Achebe's literary legacy

    Chinua Achebe has been called both the father and grandfather of African literature, a legacy that began with the publication of "Things Fall Apart" in 1958 and will continue beyond his death in March 2013. Here are some of the writers who have cited him as an influence.

  • Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lawrence to film Lynsey Addario's story
    Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lawrence to film Lynsey Addario's story

    Jennifer Lawrence, the Oscar-winning actress who stars as Katniss Everdeen in the "Hunger Games" films, will portray real-life photojournalist Lynsey Addario in a film based on her memoir "It's What I Do." Steven Spielberg will direct.

  • Kansas and the right to free expression
    Kansas and the right to free expression

    Last week, by a vote of 26-14, the Kansas Senate passed SB 56, a bill that amends the state’s existing public morals law by striking an exemption that protects teachers from prosecution for exposing students to "harmful material."

  • Ursula K. Le Guin slams new Kazuo Ishiguro novel
    Ursula K. Le Guin slams new Kazuo Ishiguro novel

    Kazuo Ishiguro's new novel "The Buried Giant" has so far garnered mixed reactions from critics, with some praising the author for his foray into fantasy, and others finding the result "misbegotten." In a blog post published yesterday, fantasy legend Ursula K. Le Guin left little doubt...

  • Stephen King in the New Yorker; how does he stack up?
    Stephen King in the New Yorker; how does he stack up?

    Stephen King has a short story in this week's New Yorker, "A Death," set in the Dakota territory in the 1880s.  There was a time when a writer who topped bestseller lists with terrifying stories of homicidal writers, sadistic fans and haunted pet cemeteries would not have fit inside a...

  • 'The Age of Earthquakes' looks back instead of forward
    'The Age of Earthquakes' looks back instead of forward

    I’m of two minds about “The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present” (Blue Rider: unpaged, $15 paper). On the one hand, this collaboration between writers Douglas Coupland and Shumon Basar and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist aspires to be a hip,...

  • Paula Deen signs book deal with Hachette
    Paula Deen signs book deal with Hachette

    Paula Deen, the disgraced celebrity chef whose Southern food empire crumbled after she admitted in 2013 to using racial slurs in the past, is attempting a comeback. Hachette Book Group on Monday announced a sales and distribution deal with the former television star's Paula Deen Ventures.

  • Veronica Roth, author of 'Divergent,' to launch new book series
    Veronica Roth, author of 'Divergent,' to launch new book series

    Veronica Roth, author of the wildly popular "Divergent" series, is starting on a new line of books. The as-yet untitled project is planned as a duology for young adults. It is to be published by Harper Collins.

Comments
Loading