Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Links to more about the recent AAA wording changes

More essays and documentation:

Psychology Today: No Science Please, We're Anthropologists
Comments by Raymond Hames quoted therein in regard to the tilt toward "public advocacy":
"Advocacy is what we do as citizens in a democratic society. Even as
anthropologists we must advocate on the basis of fundamental science.
Science has a special currency in courts, public opinion, and in the
legislative process. If we purge science from our mission statement
we lose our credibility, the ability to advocate for effective change,
and hence our power to do good. We become just another special
interest group."
Hames brought up a useful example, namely the recent ruling in Florida
allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. In that case, the
judge considered the scientific evidence showing that same-sex couples
can be just as good parents as opposite-sex couples. Wrote Hames to
me, "Evidence-based advocacy trumps special interest group advocacy."
So, even if most of what the AAA wants to do is advocacy rather than
data-driven scholarship, why ditch science in that pursuit?"

Society for Anthropological Sciences resolution against the new wording

Chronicle of Higher Education blog post by Peter Wood

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