Link: Homo naledi and digital convergence in paleoanthropology21 Oct 2015
Todd Hanson comments on whether the Rising Star project may be a sign of a future of digital convergence in paleoanthropology: “From Cave to Rave: What Digital Technologies and Social Media Could Mean for Paleoanthropology”.
So what does this all mean for the anthropological study of paleoanthropology science? Clearly, the ways in which digital technologies and social media were used to bring Homo naledi to light were extraordinary, perhaps even revolutionary, as the ways in which Homo naledi was discovered, retrieved, studied, and introduced to the world differs substantially from the way in which most paleoanthropological science is conducted. It is perhaps apropos that evidence of a possible evolution in the practices of anthropological field science would come to light in such a traditionalist discipline, where it would be so very conspicuous.
Ultimately, the case creates for me more questions than answers. Was this simply a manifestation of idiosyncrasy: a unique convergence of digital technology and social media that is unlikely to reoccur? If not, what kind of impact will digital technologies and social media have on the future practices and communications of paleoanthropology?