Sahlins and Chagnon25 Feb 2013
Essential reading today for anthropologists: Serena Golden’s account of how Marshall Sahlins resigned from the National Academy of Sciences: “A Protest Resignation”.
Sahlins' resignation highlights two serious and ongoing debates within anthropology: one, the appropriate relationship -- if any -- between anthropologists and the military (Sahlins has previously expressed his opposition to any such involvement); two, the role of hard science within the discipline.
Asked to offer his opinion on Sahlins' move, [Napoleon] Chagnon wrote in an e-mail, "I am surprised that Sahlins resigned from the NAS to protest my election last year to the NAS. One possible interpretation is that he is displeased with the gradual swing back to to the academic principle that scientists should tell the truth in their publications...."
I think it’s time to reclaim the name “anthropology” from this earlier generation.