Okay, anthropologists, at least of the social and cultural variety, never really wore lab coats – although this is perhaps the point being made as the most recent wave of the science vs. humanities debate heats up. When Malinowski published Argonauts of the Western Pacific in 1922, one of the key works that has defined anthropology, he declared without a doubt that Anthropology was a SCIENCE. While this claim has been questioned many times throughout the history of the discipline, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) rocked the media world last week after it dropped the word ‘science’ from its long range plan, focusing instead on the idea of ‘public understanding’.
Today, the media has once again exploded as the AAA has now issued a statement declaring the important place that science holds within the discipline.
Exploring these media stories with students would be an excellent exercise – one that is core to the intentions of the subject guide. And for ToK teachers following along, this one also fits nicely with your course.
Here are some links to get you started…
- The New York Times published articles both on December 9 and December 13, and a letter to the editor on December 13.
- Discover Magazine published a post on their blog on December 13.
- PloS Blog has published multiple times on the topic, most recently on December 14.
- Inside Higher Ed has reported on this story twice, most recently on December 14.