What is wrong with Anthropology

Considerable attention has recently been placed on the field of anthropology following comments from Florida governor, Rick Scott, questioning how vital anthropologists are to the state’s future. Students from the University of South Florida created this wonderful response, highlighting the many ways anthropologists engage with issues relevant to everyday life. This discussion follows closely on several very thoughtful commentaries from anthropologists within the field on what anthropology needs to do better as a discipline.

This blog is in some ways my response to these discussions. I agree with the discussions linked above that anthropologists need to be proactive in engaging with the public on issues related to our field. As a biological anthropologist, these issues are many and varied. My own work focuses on evolutionary events spanning the last several million years. Although this is a subject that is at times, quite literally, buried in the past, it has repercussions for how we understand what it means to be human, how we confront change in the world around us and within us, and how we deal with the complex set of interactions that shape how we approach the world each day.

Through my postings here I hope to provide some insight into the work that I do as an anthropologist engaged in research, field work, teaching and mentorship.

About Adam Van Arsdale

I am biological anthropologist with a specialization in paleoanthropology. My research focuses on the pattern of evolutionary change in humans over the past two million years, with an emphasis on the early evolution and dispersal of our genus, Homo. My work spans a number of areas including comparative anatomy, genetics and demography.
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One Response to What is wrong with Anthropology

  1. I’ve been waiting for quite a while to see someone respond in this manner to Rick Scott; great stuff!

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