• Beware of the 4°: Climate change is real and dangerous
Several media sources, including U.S. News and World Report, mentioned Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank and a physician and cultural anthropologist, in discussing a new report from the World Bank pointing to the need to take climate change/global warming seriously.
• Stop wildlife trafficking
“There is a movement afoot to humanize environmental issues, to address them from an anthropological, or human, perspective.” writes Tara Waters Lumpkin, an environmental and medical anthropologist. Her article is published in The Huffington Post and argues for the need address wildlife trafficking. As one example of increasing attention to wildlife protection, Lumpkin notes that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke out against wildlife trafficking at the U.S. Department of State in early November. Secretary Clinton stated that wildlife trafficking is a global security issue, emphasizing the need to enlist the support of the public to stem wildlife trafficking. She also declared the launch on Dec. 4 of Wildlife Conservation Day. Lumpkin has been employed in international aid work and as an environmental anthropologist in both the U.S. and overseas and is President of the non-profit Perception International, which promotes perceptual, cultural and biological diversity through its global projects. She is the founder and executive director of Izilwane, which means “animals” in Zulu. Izilwane explores a new ecological paradigm based on enhancing the relationship of human beings with other species and the natural world.
• Missing women primatologists at conferences
A study by researchers at UC Davis has marked gender inequality in who is chosen to speak at primatology conferences. The study was published in the open access journal PLOS ONE. Lead author Lynne Isbell, a professor of anthropology at UCD, initiated the study after being struck by the scarcity of female speakers at the annual meeting in April of the American Association of Physical Anthropology. “I started wondering if this was a fluke, or something we hadn’t noticed before,” Isbell said. She and two UCD colleagues, fellow anthropology professor Alexander Harcourt and Truman Young, a professor of plant sciences, went through programs from 21 annual meetings of the association, focusing on primatology sessions. They tallied the genders of speakers at symposia; those giving shorter oral presentations; and those presenting posters. (Symposium talks are generally seen as being more prestigious than short oral presentations, with posters — often given by junior researchers and graduate students — being seen as the least prestigious.) They found that symposia organized by men had half the number of female speakers, 29 percent, as those organized by women, 64 percent, or by men and women, 58 percent. Women were far more likely to make poster presentations than give talks, while men presented more talks than posters.
• Put heritage turkeys on the table
[Blogger’s note: vegetarian/vegan advisory]. CNN carried an interview with cultural anthropologist Peggy Barlett about heritage foods, including turkeys. She is the Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology at Emory University and a Public Voices Fellow with the Op-Ed project and a former president of the Society for Economic Anthropology and chair of the Emory University Sustainable Food Committee. The interview focused on an early Thank Thanksgiving meal prepared by Emory University’s cafeteria which included winter greens, butternut squash, brussels sprouts with apples and bacon, pumpkin grits, and roasted “heritage breed turkey.” Accolades ensued: “To me, all turkeys taste the same—except for this one—I can tell the difference,” said William Payne who works in the medical school. The local greens from Georgia farms were “really, really tasty,” said a first-year student from the Atlanta area and her friend from Tianjin, China. The meal was Emory University’s fourth Heritage Harvest Feast. The turkey that had everybody talking was a Narragansett, a heritage breed native to Rhode Island.
• Seminar in Assam