First 'Minerva' Grants Awarded

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The first "Minerva" grants have been announced -- and they are going to respected scholars at leading universities for a range of topics that could inform U.S. military and diplomatic thinking. The grants also don't appear likely to end controversy over the program, although the change coming next month in the White House may lessen some concerns.

'American Counterinsurgency'

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The Human Terrain System, a program which embeds social scientists with brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan, is billed as a mechanism for improving the U.S. military's knowledge of culture and local populations -- heretofore perceived as sorely lacking. "It’s a chance to change the military; it’s a chance to change the Army," one HTS member said at the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting in November.

Museums and Academic Values

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Archaeologists nationwide protest Penn's move to eliminate jobs of 18 scholars, none of them with tenure but many with lengthy careers. University sees need for focus and fund raising.

Anthropologists Toughen Ethics Code

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Changes stress importance of honesty about research projects and sharing findings, but policy is intentionally ambiguous in not explicitly barring classified work.

An Ethics First

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Linguistics society agrees on statement on appropriate research practices. Emphasis is on issues raised in studies of endangered languages.

'Fieldwork Is Not What It Used to Be'

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Fieldwork -- central to anthropology since the discipline's founding -- is changing. In the Internet era and a time when most of the world has been explored in depth, anthropologists no longer discover unstudied groups in the way that the early giants in their field did. The essays in a new book -- Fieldwork Is Not What It Used to Be: Learning Anthropology's Method in a Time of Transition (Cornell University Press) -- explore the implications of this shift.

Cycling Sabbatical

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Michigan community college professor bikes across Africa and uses experience to bring broader world view to her small-town students.

'Research Confidential'

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For social scientists starting their careers, creating research models that work is crucial. A new book suggests that they may be unaware of problems they face in part because scholars don't share stories of what didn't work on their projects, and how to deal with particular challenges.

Anthropology and the Military

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At its annual meeting, scholarly association criticizes a Defense Department program that uses social science as a strategic weapon.

Old Wounds in Anthropology

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At their annual meeting, scholars fan the flames of a decade-old controversy over research on a South American tribe.


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