David Brooks, the center-right columnist at the New York Times today published a column about the limitations on neuron research. He’s not against neural research, just the hubris that tends to collect around it. Like research on DNA, research on neurons is great stuff—but no matter how enthusiastic the scientists may be, it does not explain the products of culture, sociality, or humanity. And this conclusion is not the result of a political bias, but is a critique widely shared in anthropology, sociology, and beyond. The article is here.
Published by Tony Waters
Tony Waters is czar and editor of Ethnography.com. He came to us from the Sociology department at California State University at Chico where he has been a professor since 1996. In 2016 though he suddenly found himself with a new gig at Payap University in northern Thailand where he is on the faculty of the Peace Studies Department. He has also been a guest professor in Germany, and Tanzania. In the past, his main interests have been international development and refugees in Thailand, Tanzania, and California. This reflects a former career in the Peace Corps (Thailand), and refugee camps (Thailand and Tanzania). His books include: Crime and Immigrant Youth (1999), Bureaucratizing the Good Samaritan (2001), The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: Life Beneath of the Marketplace (2007), When Killing is a Crime (2007), and Schooling, Bureaucracy, and Childhood: Bureaucratizing the Child (2012). His hobby is trying to learn strange languages–and the mistakes that that implies. Tony is a prolific academic, you can read more of his work at academia.edu.or purchase one (or more!) of his books from Amazon.com. View all posts by Tony Waters