“Anthropologists as Spies… RIP: Prof. George Stocking Jr….An anthropology roundup..

George Stocking Jr., ‘Anthropology’s Anthropologist,’ Dies at 84
New York Times
George W. Stocking Jr., a historian of science who chronicled the norms, customs and tribal beliefs of modern anthropologists, documenting a history of racial bias and ethnocentrism as well as great insights, died on July 13 in Chicago. He was 84

Anthropologists as Spies

This piece was originally published in the November 20, 2000 edition of The Nation. It was also published on their website here. Thanks to The Nation for allowing us to include this essay as part of this issue.


On December 20, 1919, under the heading “Scientists as Spies,” The Nation published a letter by Franz Boas, the father of academic anthropology in America. Boas charged that four American anthropologists, whom he did not name, had abused their professional research positions by conducting espionage in Central America during the First World War. Boas strongly condemned their actions, writing that they had “prostituted science by using it as a cover for their activities as spies.” Anthropologists spying for their country severely betrayed their science and damaged the credibility of all anthropological research, Boas wrote; a scientist who uses his research as a cover for political spying forfeits the right to be classified as a scientist.

Boldly go Towards Collaboration

Nicholas A Christakis? story in the NY Times is serious food for thought.

Christakis starts ?Let?s Shake Up the Social Sciences? with the following:

TWENTY-FIVE years ago, when I was a graduate student, there were departments of natural science that no longer exist today. Departments of anatomy, histology, biochemistry and physiology have disappeared, replaced by innovative departments of stem-cell biology, systems biology, neurobiology and molecular biophysics. Taking a page from Darwin, the natural sciences are evolving with the times. The perfection of cloning techniques gave rise to stem-cell biology; advances in computer science contributed to systems biology. Whole new fields of inquiry, as well as university departments and majors, owe their existence to fresh discoveries and novel tools. read on here

This article could worry anthropologists in training or in practice but it could just as easily excite us.  Some would rather wait for handouts and complain about the current state of affairs but not me.


How to explain anthropology to a physicist

Science works by proposing and disposing of hypotheses. Hypotheses come from a lot of places: previous research results, modeling, inspiration, and plain old intuition. Our intuition is a good source of scientific hypotheses because our species has evolved to possess an implicit model of the natural world that allows us to move, eat, balance, and so forth.


The history and anthropology of birth and parenting

I’m reading a ton of baby and pregnancy books right now, preparing both for the October birth of my daughter and an upcoming BoingBoing feature about evidence-based books for science-minded soon-to-be-parents.

Best Introduction to Anthropology Syllabus ? Four Fields 2013

With the 2013 fall semester on the way, people have been visiting the 2012 Best Introduction to Anthropology Syllabus ? Four Fields. I?ve re-visited that post and updated the links. The material there is still valuable, and although I?ve been unable to do a more complete scouring of the web, I noted there are more materials at the American Anthropological Association Teaching Materials Exchange. Please find links below for additional four-fields anthropology syllabi available there. I?ve also added syllabus suggestions from introductory courses that do not use a full textbook, which is often difficult to do for a four-fields introduction.


Using George Zimmerman as an object lesson in the anthropology of policing

(Savage Minds is pleased to run this guest column from Kevin Karpiak. Kevin is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology at Eastern Michigan University.  His work focuses on policing as a useful nexus for exploring questions in both political anthropology and the anthropology of morality.  He is currently completing a manuscript based on his dissertation research (UC Berkeley 2009), entitled The Police Against Itself: refiguring French liberalism after the social, which provides an ethnographic account of the ethical work undertaken by police officers, administrators, educators and citizens as they experiment with new forms of sociality ?after the social moment? in France.  He also maintains both apersonal blog and a group blog on the Anthropology of Policing. -R)

Aşağı Göbekli I of II: the Third “Gobekli” in Sanliurfa Marking Stars of Cancer on the Ground in Hermetic Tradition: Anatolia and the Origin of the Jews

This posting on Aşağı Göbekli (spelling also as Asagi Gobekli I, avoiding diacritical marks), as already indicated in a previous posting, complements our interpretation of the meaning of Göbekli Tepe (Gobekli Tepe) and Göbekli Köyü (Gobekli Koyu) as representing ancient land survey by astronomy. Note that styles of ancient marking at each site vary somewhat, so that the chronological date of origin of all Göbekli sites may not be equivalent.

Anthropology Professor Says New ?Type? of Immigrant Trying to Enter US

Hispanically Speaking News

The ongoing deportation program is resulting a ?new type of immigrant? trying to cross the border into the United States, namely undocumented foreigners who have lived illegally for many years in this country and ?the only way of life they know is that

 Ethnography, Anthropology, and the Study of Religion
Decoded Science
In actual fact, what modern Anthropology attempts to do is to answer the ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ of religions, rather than ‘What it is’. Modernanthropology, being based on ethnography, i.e. a study of a specific society or group in a given geographical 

Reflections from a Balinese Cockfight: Conflicted Realities in Post-Conflict Bali

Balinese cock pre-cockfight.  Photo by John Lunsford.



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