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The Biological Anthropology of Modern Human Populations: World Histories, National Styles, and International Networks

 

Wenner-Gren Symposium #142 Group Photo
Seated: J. Radin, M. Little, R. Watkins, R. Santos, S. Lindee, L. Aiello, L. Obbink. Standing: M. Low, C. Larsen, G. Santos, B. Smocovitis, A. Kakaliouras, W. Anderson, J. Reardon, G. Palsson, J. Kyllingstad, T. Turner, P. Selcer, J. Marks, A. Morris, J-F Véran, N. Cameron. Not Pictured: V. Lipphardt

WENNER-GREN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM #142
March 5-12, 2010
Hotel Rosa dos Ventos, Teresópolis, Brazil

 

PUBLICATION: The Biological Anthropology of Living Human Populations: World Histories, National Styles, and International Networks. Current Anthropology Vol. 53, No. S5, April 2012.

CA Vol 53 S5

PARTICIPANTS:

Leslie C. Aiello (Wenner-Gren Foundation, USA)
Warwick Anderson (U. Sydney, Australia)
Nöel Cameron (Loughborough U., UK)
Ann M. Kakaliouras (Whittier College, USA)
Jon Røyne Kyllingstad (U. Oslo, Norway)
Clark Larsen (Ohio State U., USA)
Susan Lindee, organizer (U. Pennsylvania, USA)
Veronika Lipphardt (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Germany)
Michael A. Little (Binghamton U.-SUNY, USA)
Morris Low (U. Queensland, Australia)
Jonathan Marks (U. North Carolina, USA)
Alan G. Morris (U. Cape Town, South Africa)
Gisli Palsson (U. Iceland)
Joanna Radin, monitor (U. Pennsylvania, USA)
Jennifer Reardon (U. California-Santa Cruz, USA)
Gonçalo D. Santos (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK)
Ricardo Ventura Santos, organizer (Museu Nacional & Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil)
Perrin Selcer (U. Michigan, USA)
Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis (U. Florida, USA)
Trudy R. Turner (U. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA)
Jean-Francois Veran (Federal U. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) 
Rachel Watkins (American U., USA


The Symposium Organizers' Summary Statement:

Today biological anthropology involves the use of sophisticated genetic and genomic technologies and careful attention to the relationships between researchers and research participants and to the ethical collection, storage, and use of collected DNA.   The field has advanced far beyond its early origins in race studies, anatomy, and blood group analysis.   Yet the historical and contextual questions that have long shaped the history of physical and biological anthropology still matter, as reflected in contemporary negotiations around race, ethnicity, and nationalism; the ownership of biological materials; the scientific meanings of populations; field work in the global south; and complex, evolving ethical debates that are  deeply inflected by history.

In this symposium, we explored these questions as part of a critical consideration of the present status and future of biological anthropology.  It was our consensus that human diversity has been a core problem in physical anthropology throughout its history, and that its centrality makes it a useful window for understanding the broader enterprise and charting its possible futures. 

While the term “anthropology” appeared in various texts to describe studies of anatomy in the 16th and 17th centuries, the mathematical and technical study of human populations and their physical characteristics — as a guide to their origins, racial identity, or relationships to other groups — originally developed in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century. The development o