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Dr. Robert Hackenberg was awarded the Omer Stewart Award by HPSfAA for 1997. This award was presented at HPSfAA’s annual meeting in Estes Park, in April of 1997. This is Dr. Hackenberg’s response.
The Human Genome Project, now funded and coordinated by the Department of Energy and National Institutes of Health to identify the entire structure of human genetics, has recognized that in addition to long-range scientific challenges posed by its research, ethical, legal, and social consequences follow from application of the resulting information. The Project therefore raises serious questions for the people of this country, both as individuals and as members of political entities.
There is absolutely no question that the article reflects commonly held sentiments among many people in the community at large and is therefore of some significance. I disagree with many of the expressed fears, observations, and suggestions, however, and will restrict my comments to a few general observations on the entire set of issues, which may provide a useful context for further discussion.
I remember clearly the day in 1980 when my University of Denver colleague, Alan Gilbert, rushed into my office and exclaimed: “My brother just won the Nobel Prize!” Indeed, Walter Gilbert had, for his discoveries regarding DNA sequencing methods. These discoveries, and those of others to follow, paved the way for the Human Genome Project. Yet, while this project apparently spurred the accompanying article by Thomas Fitzgerald, it in no sense came to dominate it. Rather, Fitzgerald has written a highly heuristic piece, one that – appropriately – raises more questions than it answers.
We can all agree with Thomas Fitzgerald that new genetic knowledge is thrusting on citizens of the developed world many new choices freighted with moral and ethical valences. Fitzgerald is also justified in declaring that the science creating these options is undermining previously held beliefs, beliefs that for some are sited in religion. Meanwhile, science, by its nature, cannot provide a value system to guide us through the choices it brings us. Finally, one can also agree that many will have little ethical apparatus to apply to these choices and may select their option based on short-term self interest rather than some higher moral principle.
“Ought to do, and ought not.” The closing phrase by Thomas Fitzgerald announces a call for an ethical basis for decisions, personal or policy, concerning the genome and the power of science to design humanity through genetic engineering. Pondering this issue, Fitzgerald sets forth a searching – and scorching – critique of contemporary culture in general.
In 1990 the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act became law. Opposition to this law was widespread and vocal prior to its passage. Today, five years later, opposition remains strong, but has become more “passive-aggressive” than the active-vocal opposition voiced during the debate of the proposed bill. This paper will highlight how NAGPRA has fundamentally changed the way museums and Federal agencies manage museum collections and conduct archaeology on Federal lands, and how NAGPRA has changed the relationships between Native Americans and anthropologists.
Report on a pilot study to determine if American Indian students would retain more information from a culturally modified sexual abuse curriculum than from a standard (Anglo) curriculum. A standardized personal safety education curriculum (“Talking About Touching” by Committee for Children) was taught to one group of Native American fourth-grade students (control group) and a culturally modified version was taught to another Native American fourth-grade class (experimental group) at an elementary school on an Indian reservation in Montana.
In anthropological theory, the allegedly timeless and changeless “ethnographic present” has long been the ideal ethnological ideal, the necessary fiction. “Culture change,” by whatever means, was supposedly the annoying exception to structure, continuity, social replication, tradition. Increasingly, both the reality and the language of massive social disruption, as well as that of incremental change, are transforming anthropological theory and practice.
The article on the administration of NAGPRA by Michael J. Evans and Richard W. is based on an underlying basic assumption: that consultation between those with the responsibility to carry out the provisions of NAGPRA, and the affected Native American tribes, will result in an amicable agreement acceptable to all parties. In my opinion this assumption is fundamentally flawed.
We live in a rapidly changing and globalized world within which the transnational mass movements of population become more popular than ever before. In the contemporary world complex population movement refugees are a growing element associated with the new world order that followed the end of the Cold War (Richmond 1994:xi).
The effect of the political story in Cambodia upon the personal story of Moses Samol Seth is uncovered in the narrative of his life, which reveals the marker events that influence his present identity: "If not for the war, I would not be who I am."
This paper recognizes the need for applied anthropology to become more involved in school reform. A first step is taken in this direction by exploring the "domain of application" concerning Colorado's charter school policy (Van Willigan 1993). The players, networks and relationships, the issues, points of contention, and areas for further research are identified.
The current state of disassociation within the field of cultural anthropology presents numerous difficulties for learning and teaching theory and method. This paper has been written by a graduate student, for students, as a tool for contextualizing and organizing contemporary theory.
Any bioprospecting endeavor has many important legal and ethnoecological ramifications. Frequently, however, these ramifications are subtle, and those involved in a bioprospecting project consequently lose sight of these ramifications amid more prominent scientific, industrial, and commercial objectives of the endeavor.
Let me begin this essay by using the words of the professor who gave me the opportunity to do this work. Peter W. Van Arsdale wrote in his review of the book Traditional African Societies: "One of the strongest endorsements that a book can receive is that other scholars not only begin using and citing it, but begin building their own research upon the ideas it contains,sometimes even in unexpected settings.” Such is the case with Mayfield Publishing Company’s third edition of Victims of Progress, by John H. Bodley.
The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), formerly known as the Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP), is an agency of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the Public Health Service of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. CSAP has published an impressive array of technical support materials, including a Cultural Competence Series that addresses the topic of “cultural competence” as it relates to substance abuse prevention programs and protocols. At the time of this writing the series is on going.