Nolan Kline, PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of South Florida and member of MAYS, kindly accepted to write about the recent words of Florida Governor against anthropology, and especially about graduate students’ very relevant answer.
During an interview on October 10th, 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott told a conservative radio show host that Florida did not need any more anthropologists:
“Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don’t think so.”
Rick Scott’s assault on anthropology is part of his broader goal to disassemble liberal arts education by cutting funding to liberal arts disciplines and redirecting funds to STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics —  programs.   STEM degrees, according to Scott, are more helpful for undergraduates in finding work after graduating:
“I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, math degrees. That’s what our kids need to focus all their time and attention on. Those type of degrees. So when they get out of school, they can get a job.”
In response to Rick Scott’s comments, graduate students at the University of South Florida quickly assembled a presentation highlighting how their work benefits Florida, specifically.  Although the presentation does not touch upon Scott dismissing the value of critical thinking skills provided by disciplines like anthropology, it does address the governor’s misguided assumption that anthropology has no utility in the state he governs. Ironically, Scott’s daughter holds an undergraduate degree in anthropology.
– Nolan Kline –

Here is the presentation (click on the gray arrow):

.prezi-player { width: 500px; } .prezi-player-links { text-align: center; }

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