The Great American Cultural Eclipse

Total solar eclipses are magnificent, dramatic visual collisions of moon and sun. They are also cosmic provocateurs that provide life-long memories. The eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017 did not disappoint. Beyond its heavenly mechanics, the Big Event served as a cultural and personal projective test of national dimensions. The eclipse arrived as a glorious […]

The CRISPR Hack: Better, Faster, Stronger

Science fictions and fantasies are quickly becoming facts with CRISPR, a gene-editing technology that is opening up new horizons for the human species. Some dream of turning horses into unicorns, while others would like to normalize humans — eliminating rare gene mutations from our populations. Biologists are considering hacking the genomes of unwanted insects such […]

Thinking with Bats, Forests and the Cosmos

Thomas Nagel. 2012. Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. New York: Oxford University Press. 128 pages. Eduardo Kohn. 2013. How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology beyond the Human. Oakland: University of California Press. 288 pages. The philosopher Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception […]

Nanotechnology and Religion

Chris Toumey, a cultural anthropologist at the University of South Carolina, studies relations between nanotechnology and faith: Until now, religions have been remarkably silent on nanotechnology, Toumey points out. Nothing compared to the harsh bioethical controversies about in vitro fertilisation in the Catholic world, for example. "Nanotechnology is a heterogeneous body of sciences and technologies: […]

Aliens

Before we can understand an alien civilization, it might be useful to understand our own. To help in this task, anthropologist Kathryn Denning of York University in Toronto, Canada studies the very human way that scientists, engineers and members of the public think about space exploration and the search for alien life. From Star Trek to SETI, […]

Parody as Scientific Theory

Nate Greenslit writes for From the Fields, a Wired Science op-ed series: As an anthropologist of science, I am fascinated with how people create their own meaning from scientific content, which in turn shapes public understanding of science and, ultimately, scientific agendas themselves. YouTube has become a lively repository for this kind of meaning-making. A great […]

Anthropologists Not Needed in Florida

Speaking at The Mark Bernier Show, Florida Governor Rick Scott expressed an unfavorable opinion of anthropology: We don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state. It’s a great degree if people want to get it, but we don’t need them here. I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, and math […]

Is Anthropology a Science?

From The Brian Lehrer Show, December 14, 2010, anthropologists Hugh Gusterson (executive boardmember of the American Anthropological Association and professor of Anthropology at George Mason University) and Peter N. Peregrine (president of the Society for Anthropological Sciences and professor of Anthropology at Lawrence University) discuss the removal of the word ‘science’ from The American Anthropological […]