The 87th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2018)


Session 26. Biological Anthropology and Dialogue with Diverse Publics. Invited Podium Symposium. Chair: Robert C. O'Malley

April 13, 2018 , Zilker 4 Add to calendar

An individual’s worldview, including their religious beliefs and cultural background, informs their perceptions of research studies and the scientific endeavor as a whole. According to a 2015 Pew survey, a majority of the American public identifies as religious or spiritual, and view science as ‘often in conflict’ with religion (though a minority of Americans see science as in conflict with their *own* beliefs). Relatedly, disparities endure along racial and class lines in science education, opportunities to pursue science careers, and access to the benefits of scientific research. These divides are detrimental for all concerned, as a presumption that scientists hold different worldviews (including backgrounds, values, beliefs, and priorities) than other publics can impact the perceived trustworthiness and credibility of scientists on critical issues at the interface of science and society. Accordingly, engagement is increasingly recognized as an important dimension of science scholarship. Effective engagement can have a positive impact on public appreciation and support for scientific research, funding, education, and science-informed policy. Engagement with publics directly or indirectly impacted by scientific research is important for ethical reasons, but can also yield important insights for research topics, hypothesis development, methodology, and data interpretation. In a climate of increasing social polarization, there is a need for scientists to move beyond a science communication model focused on correcting perceived “deficits” in public knowledge and perspectives, and towards a framework centered on dialogue, trust-building, and the identification of shared interests and goals among scientists and other stakeholders. This symposium will highlight examples, challenges and broader strategies for effective engagement with diverse publics on topics within and beyond biological anthropology.

8:00 Add to calendar Acknowledging worldviews: A proactive strategy for engagement with science. Constance M. Bertka, Briana Pobiner, Paul Beardsley.
8:15 Add to calendar An evolving national conversation on human evolution. Richard Potts.
8:30 Add to calendar Religious Cultural Competence in Evolution Education (ReCCEE). Elizabeth Barnes, Sara Brownell.
8:45 Add to calendar Toward a more “engaged field primatology”: Communicating, engaging, and collaborating with diverse publics. Erin P. Riley, Katherine T. Hanson, Kristen S. Morrow, Alison A. Zak.
9:00 Add to calendar The impact of changing religious practices on orangutan fieldwork and conservation in West Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia. Cheryl Knott, Caitlin A. O'Connell, Terri Breeden, Tri Wahyu Susanto.
9:15 Add to calendar Forensic Science, Death, and the Public: Towards Effective and Compassionate Communication. Elizabeth A. DiGangi, Ariel Gruenthal-Rankin, Michael "Sonny" Trimble.
9:30 Add to calendar Moving forward with NAGPRA: From basic implementation to ethical engagement and collaborative reciprocity. Jayne-Leigh Thomas.
9:45 Add to calendar Reclaiming African American ancestries for research, identity construction, and memorialization. Fatimah L.C. Jackson.
10:00 BREAK
10:30 Add to calendar Politics of collaborative research with Indigenous communities: Moving beyond the framework of community engagement. Alyssa C. Bader, Savannah Martin, Ripan S. Malhi.
10:45 Add to calendar Situating anthropological genetics within local beliefs in pastoral Kenya. Carla Handley, Sarah Mathew, Angela Taravella, Anne Stone, Melissa A. Wilson Sayres.
11:00 Add to calendar Being Black and Doing Black Research: Methods for Recruiting and Retaining African-Americans in a Bio-cultural Health Study. Julius A. Doyle, Bettina Shell-Duncan, Steve Goodreau.
11:15 Add to calendar Zika Virus and maternal stigmatization: Supporting maternal and child health through religious engagement in American Samoa. Michaela E. Howells, Christopher D. Lynn.
11:30 Add to calendar Can we “Kickstart” science?. Melissa A. Wilson Sayres.
11:45 Add to calendar An imperfect science: Lessons for cross-disciplinary dialogue and public advocacy from the March for Science Boston. Elizabeth T. Crocker.
12:00 Discussant: Briana Pobiner