Anthropologists defend profession after Gov. Scott's snub
Anthropology scholars across the state are pretty miffed at Florida Gov. Rick Scott after he publicly said the state doesn't need a whole lot more of them. He's using the tidbit to explain the professions Florida does need more of, like those in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine), but can you blame anthropologists for being offended?
Here are some of Scott's comments, as reported in the Orlando Sentinel: “We’re spending a lot of money on education, and when you look at the results, it’s not great.... Do you want to use your tax money to educate more people who can’t get jobs in anthropology? I don’t.”
Here's more from the Public Library of Science blog -- a roundup of comments from across the state, including from University of South Florida anthropology chair Brent Weisman: "My colleagues and I in the Anthropology Department at USF encourage our Governor to do his homework on the modern discipline of anthropology before making another casual but ill-informed remark."
The American Anthropological Association responded today, too, with a letter to Scott that's attached below. An excerpt: "Perhaps you are unaware that anthropologists are leaders in our nation’s top science fields, making groundbreaking discoveries in areas as varied as public health, human genetics, legal history, bilingualism, the African American heritage, and infant learning."