ASA has opened a creative and intellectual space to cultivate scholars, and unlike other conferences, where most attendees spend their time at the hotel bar or touring the conference city, the sessions at the ASA are teeming with audience participants.
The power of anthropology and the social sciences is found, at least for me, in the narratives we put forward about the social conditions of people living in the world. In the social sciences, the books with legs are those that create a connection between writers and a diverse audience of readers.
I study, teach, and write about things that non-English professors also encounter every day: words and images. Yet when English profs teach these materials in the classroom, and especially when we write about them in academic journals or scholarly books, we sound different.
Evolution is as scientifically accepted as gravity. And while we don't quite understand how gravity works, we know a lot about how evolution works -- much more than Charles Darwin, even with all his genius, could have dreamt.
As a longtime (or actually lifetime) Upper East Sider, I must confess that I don't make it down to Saks all that frequently. Why venturing below 57th Street makes such a psychological difference to me, I have no idea.
Literature as an experiment engages both the reader and the text in an equal synthesis of interpretation. In this sense, literature becomes an experience, which experimentation must be used to understand it.
When a body of tested scientific knowledge is said to be "only a theory," the scientific meaning of the word is perverted with the effect of trivializing issues that may have life and death consequences for the entire world.
I have no expectation that every man, woman, and child should strive to become a professional scientist. But I do have every expectation that every man, woman, and child should strive to become more scientifically literate.
As you embark on changes large and small, try to keep your eyes on the prize and put a positive spin on setbacks. In other words, choose to change, and stick to it. Yet realize your very commitment is going to make it hard to hear negative feedback.