monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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Entries Tagged as 'Anthropology'

Something Newsworthy From the AAAs!

December 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Anthropology, Infectious Disease

About this time of the year, I generally do a re-cap of the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting. However, I didn’t attend AAAs this year for the first time in five years, so I don’t have much to report. Anthropologists’ annual awkwardly-timed professional ritual just went down in Washington DC and I thought I would see […]

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On Genetics and Human Behavioral Biology

August 13th, 2014 · No Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Human Ecology

Nicholas Wade, former science reporter for the New York Times has written a book, A Troublesome Inheritance, in which he argues that large-scale societal differences (e.g., the existence of capitalist democracies in the West or of paternalistic, authoritarian political systems in Asia) may be attributable to small genetic differences that were fixed at a population […]

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AAA Recap, 2013

November 26th, 2013 · No Comments · Anthropology, science, Social Network Analysis

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 […]

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Should You Get a Ph.D.?

September 20th, 2013 · No Comments · Anthropology, science, Teaching

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 […]

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On Anthropological Sciences and the AAA

November 19th, 2012 · No Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Human Ecology, science, Teaching

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 […]

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AAPA 2012 Run-Down

April 16th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Anthropology, science

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 […]

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Wealth and Cheating

March 20th, 2012 · 1 Comment · Anthropology, Social Network Analysis

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. […]

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Get Off the Sexual Network

March 10th, 2012 · No Comments · Anthropology, Human Ecology, Infectious Disease, Social Network Analysis

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 […]

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Three Questions About Norms

March 3rd, 2012 · 1 Comment · Anthropology, Conservation, Demography, Human Ecology, Infectious Disease, Teaching

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 […]

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Risk Management: The Fundamental Human Adaptation

April 15th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Human Ecology

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 […]

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