List members might find this profile of U of Utah anthropologist Polly
Wiessner of interest. She reflects an increasing trend in anthropology,
sometimes called engaged anthropology, to become more closely involved with
research subjects--indeed, to make them active collaborators--and to make
their welfare paramount. This viewpoint, which rejects notions that active
involvement with subjects compromises scientific objectivity, is also
associated with an activist and advocacy role for anthropologists. The
recent revolt in the American Anthropological Association against the use of
anthropologists in Iraq and Afghanistan is an example of this attitude; and
it represents, finally, the throwing off of the lingering effects of
McCarthyism's devastating attack on the field. All these issues are
discussed, albeit briefly, at the end of the piece.


Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor
have no food, they call me a Communist." -- Hélder Pessoa Câmara