monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

monkey's uncle header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'Anthropology'

AAA Recap, 2013

November 26th, 2013 · No Comments

I guess it’s that time of the year. You know, when I recap, in my bittersweet way, the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association? I am an anthropologist, yes, but I am deeply torn in my feelings for my discipline, my department, and my flagship (?) professional organization. The question mark arises because I […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · science · Social Network Analysis

Should You Get a Ph.D.?

September 20th, 2013 · No Comments

I wrote this as a long email to a list this week and, based on the feedback I’ve received, I thought it would be worthwhile posting it here. This is a topic to which I have given a lot of thought over the years, starting as a fellowships tutor at Harvard during my own grad […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · science · Teaching

On Anthropological Sciences and the AAA

November 19th, 2012 · No Comments

I guess the time has rolled around again for my annual navel-gaze regarding my discipline, my place within it, and its future. Two strangely interwoven events have conspired to make me particularly philosophical as we enter into the winter holidays. First, I am in the middle of a visit by my friend, colleague, and former […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Human Ecology · science · Teaching

AAPA 2012 Run-Down

April 16th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I am done with this year’s American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual meeting in Portland. Alas, I am not yet home as I had a scheduling snafu with Alaska Airlines yesterday and there was literally not a single seat on a flight to any airport in the Bay Area. So, I hung out in PDX […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · science

Wealth and Cheating

March 20th, 2012 · 1 Comment

I recently read a story in the Los Angeles Times about a team of psychologists at UC Berkeley who showed, in a series of experimental and naturalistic studies, that wealthy individuals are more likely to cheat or violate social norms about fairness. The Story in the Times referred to the paper by Piff et al. […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Social Network Analysis

Get Off the Sexual Network

March 10th, 2012 · No Comments

When I was in Uganda last month, I was talking with collaborators, field assistants, villagers, taxi drivers, bartenders – pretty much anyone who would listen – about social networks, I was struck by what a sophisticated understanding of social networks my average interlocutor had.  As part of our project examining the risk of zoonotic disease […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · Social Network Analysis

Three Questions About Norms

March 3rd, 2012 · 1 Comment

Well, it certainly has been a while since I’ve written anything here. Life has gotten busy with new projects, new responsibilities, etc. Yesterday, I participated in a workshop on campus sponsored by the Woods Institute for the Environment, the Young Environmental Scholars Conference. I was asked to stand-in for a faculty member who had to […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Conservation · Demography · Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · Teaching

Risk Management: The Fundamental Human Adaptation

April 15th, 2011 · 2 Comments

It was a conceptually dense week in class.  The first part of the week I spent talking about topics such as ecological complexity, vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience. One of the key take-home messages of this material is that uncertainty is ubiquitous in complex ecological systems.  Now, while systemic uncertainty does not mean that the world […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Human Ecology

Complexity and Nihilism

April 15th, 2011 · 2 Comments

This week in class I tried to take on the topic of complexity, as in “complex systems theory.”  Complexity is a very important topic in human ecology, and biosocial science more generally.  It’s also a topic that worries me a bit. It worries for two reasons. First, it seems all too easy for people to […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Human Ecology

Response to Selection

April 3rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

I’m done now with the first week of the Spring quarter. It was a bit challenging because I had to attend the PAA meetings in Washington, DC for the latter part of the week, but Brian Wood ably covered for me on Thursday. I thought that I would use the blog as a tool for […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Teaching