Thursday, December 13, 2007

Anthropologists Up in Arms Over Pentagon’s “Human Terrain System” to Recruit Graduate Students to Serve in Iraq, Afghanistan

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

".......David Price is associate professor of anthropology at St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington. He’s a founding member of the Network of Concerned Anthropologists. He was also a member of the Association’s Ad Hoc Commission. He has written extensively on the history and ethics of anthropologists interacting with members of the military and intelligence agencies.

David Price joins us now from Seattle. Welcome to Democracy Now!....

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. Why don’t you lay out what this debate is?

DAVID PRICE: Well, this debate very much cuts to the core of what the appropriate uses of anthropology are, regarding warfare and regarding large ethical issues about what does it mean to have anthropologists embedded with military forces during a time of war. You know, there are large ethical issues about embedding ethnographers with troops. Basically, fundamental research ethics require that research subjects have voluntary meaningful informed consent, that they’re told, you know, what’s going to be done with the research, and that no harm come to those who are studied.

The executive board of the American Anthropological Association weighed these and others issues and made a very strong statement against the Human Terrain program, because it saw it clearly wandering into these very ethical problematic areas and not really showing due concern for the people who are studied...... "

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