#AAA2011 #AAAsci discussion

At the American Anthropology Association's 2011 meeting, there was a discussion on the place of science in anthropology (in response to 2010's #AAAfail). I was unable to attend, so here's the Twitter-told story of what went occurred.


  1. 10:15 am, EST / Nov. 17, 2011 / Montreal, QC, Canada / the American Anthropology Association (AAA) annual meeting.

  2. Anthropologists gather to discuss science. Specifically in reaction to the 2010 AAA science "fail" that removed the word science from the AAA's long-range plan. The session was organized by Peter Peregrine (Lawrence University), who is also president of the Society for Anthropological Sciences. There were four roundtable presenters scheduled, although based on tweets I am not sure that Alice D Dreger (Northwestern University) presented. Tweets begin with questions/issues to be addressed in the discussion.
    UPDATE: It was pointed out to me that I missed some of the tweets from this session that were under #AAA2011 but not #AAAsci. I apologize for missing those tweets, but can't guarantee I'll go back and add them as Storify's search abilities leave a lot to be desired. Here's another good round-up of what occurred and what the reactions were. 
  3. Virginia R Dominguez University of Illinois, AAA President, Session Chair

  4. Two bioanthro sessions were scheduled for the same time slot as the discussion.
  5. Daniel A Segal 

    Pitzer College

  6. Nicholas Wade writes for the New York Times and authored an article on AAA fail 2010, which was the first many had heard of the change in wording.
  7. In Cobb County, Georgia, science textbooks had stickers in them next to the section on evolution that said, "Evolution is a theory, not a fact". Eventually courts ordered the stickers removed.
  8. Response from the Twitterverse:
  9. I believe the relevant quote from the blog post is:

    "But importantly, biological evolution is a theory that rests on much evidence and reason, while the others are more dubious or, in some cases, utter nonsense.  And what is crucial is that our schools teach them all as theories--which is to say, that they should be taught in a manner that encourages crtiical thought about them--and then trust that ordinary persons will indeed be able to judge them for themselves."
  10. Back to Segal:
  11. H Russell Bernard 

    University of Florida