monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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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 […]

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Tags: Anthropology · science · Social Network Analysis

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease

May 25th, 2013 · No Comments

I am recently back from the 2013 Ecology and Evolution of Infections Disease Conference at Penn State University. This was quite possibly the best meeting I have ever attended, not even for the science (which was nonetheless impeccable), but for the culture. I place the blame for this awesome culture firmly on the shoulders of […]

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Tags: Evolution · Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · science

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease, 2013

March 20th, 2013 · No Comments

I am recently back from the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease (EEID) Principal Investigators’ Meeting hosted by the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia in lovely Athens. This is a remarable event, and a remarkable field, and I can’t remember ever being so energized after returning from a professional conference (which […]

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Tags: Climate Change · Conservation · Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · science

On Global State Shifts

July 5th, 2012 · No Comments

This is a edited version of a post I sent out to the E-ANTH listserv in response to a debate over a recent paper in Nature and the response to it on the website “Clear Science,” written by Todd Meyers. In this debate, it was suggested that the Barnosky paper is the latest iteration of […]

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Tags: Climate Change · Human Ecology

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 […]

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

Ecology, Evolution, and Human Health

March 25th, 2011 · No Comments

Yesterday, I spent most of the day collecting content for my upcoming classes this spring and getting the course web sites together.  For the first time in a while, I will (officially) be teaching two classes in one quarter (which effectively means teaching three or four when I add the other things like lab meetings […]

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Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Human Ecology

That's How Science Works

December 29th, 2010 · 5 Comments

The RealClimate blog has a very astute entry on how the controversy surrounding the recent report in the prestigious journal Science that bacteria living in the arsenic-rich waters of Mono Lake in California can substitute arsenic for phosphorous in their DNA.  If true, this would be a major finding because it expands the range of environments […]

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Tags: Anthropology · science

A New Essay

December 2nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Most of my essays of late are written here for monkey’s uncle. This week, an essay that I wrote for a series on the future of Anthropology was published in Anthropology News, the newsletter of the American Anthropological Association.  So, rather than write it again, I will simply link to it!

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Tags: Anthropology

Risk-Aversion and Finishing One's Dissertation

November 4th, 2009 · 1 Comment

It’s that time of the year again, it seems, when I have lots of students writing proposals to submit to NSF to fund their graduate education or dissertation research.  This always sets me to thinking about the practice of science and how one goes about being a successful scientist. I’ve written about “productive stupidity” before, […]

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Tags: Anthropology · science

More on Science in the Obama Times

January 27th, 2009 · No Comments

As a follow-up to my post on science and the Obama Inaugural, I wanted to note a terrific essay  by Dennis Overbye on the civic virtues of science in the New York Times. He argues that virtue emerges from the process of science: “Science is not a monument of received Truth but something that people do to look for truth.” […]

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