Author: Elizabeth Weiss

Elizabeth Weiss is a professor of anthropology at San José State University. She is the author of the books "Paleopathology in Perspective: Bone Health and Disease through Time" (2014, Rowman and Littlefield) and "Reading the Bones: Activity, Biology, and Culture" (2017, University of Florida Press). You can contact her at

Minding the Sciences — At DDP, Innovation Trumps Environmentalism

In July, I attended the 41st Annual Meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) in Tucson, Arizona. The meeting opened with the national anthem played beautifully on the trumpet and the violin by the teenage sons (Benjamin and Franklin!) of Willie Soon, the first speaker. DDP was founded in the early 1980s as a “group […]

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Apocalypto Now

On the evening of April 23, 2023, a fight broke out in Los Angeles. The masked mob threw chairs, shouted swear words, stole a laptop, and landed a few punches. The cops were called, and, eventually, the chaos subsided. One person was arrested for assault, and one victim ended up with a bloody nose. This […]

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The State of the University: An Anthropologist’s Perspective

Editor’s Note: The following is a speech delivered by Professor Elizabeth Weiss of San Jose State University at a meeting of the California Association of Scholars on March 16, 2023. It has been edited prior to publication. Recent reports from Texas Tech University, Stanford University, and the University of North Carolina show promising signs that […]

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Anthropology in Ruins

From November 10 to 13, I attended the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), which was held in Seattle, Washington. The AAA is the largest anthropological association in the world. It is a scholarly and professional organization, and three-quarters of its members are academics—either professors or students. The AAA, unlike the other major anthropological […]

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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Shearing Science to Atone for Imagined Sins of the Past According to journalist Christine Chung, writing for the New York Times, Harvard’s Peabody Museum will return hundreds of Native American samples. The samples, which were collected from 1930 to 1933 by George Edward Woodbury, will be returned to the tribes to which these Native Americans […]

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Charles Darwin: Victorian Genius

Charles Darwin’s works, including The Descent of Man (1871), withstand the test of time. Darwin got a remarkable amount about the mechanics of evolution, our African origins, the links between humans and the rest of the natural world, and evolution’s impact on our current conditions right. He did this with practically no human fossil record […]

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