Vital Topics Forum

We’re excited to release a Vital Topics Forum on diversity in biological anthropology. In their introduction, organizers Deborah A. Bolnick, Rick W. A. Smith, and Agustín Fuentes write:

In recent years, many biological anthropologists have taken center stage in national debates concerning sexual misconduct, the need for greater integrity and safety in the field and workplace, sex and gender equality in the sciences, and race and racism globally. The primary professional organization of biological anthropology in the United States, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA), has also made unprecedented efforts to increase diversity in the discipline. Such developments have been important for increasing the inclusion of underrepresented groups in anthropology (and science more broadly) and are crucial to broadening access and increasing justice within biological anthropology. However, while strides have been made toward improving representation among historically marginalized groups in science, less consideration has been given to the significant intellectual shifts that diversification brings, offering new kinds of questions and theoretical perspectives, new approaches to research design and ethics, and new insights and interpretations of data—leading to the production of new knowledge within biological anthropology and anthropology more generally. Diversity is not just about visibility and representation; it is also about making a new and vital science together.

In this Vital Topics Forum, we draw on the voices and insights of scholars from biological anthropology and beyond to explore the ways that scientists from diverse backgrounds are producing new, exciting, and essential kinds of knowledge about humans and nonhumans; the connections between bodies, biology, and culture; and the politics and practice of science.

Read the rest of the introduction here.

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