Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a UC-Berkeley medical anthropologist best known for investigating illegal organ trafficking, was featured in a Times Higher Education article describing the difficulties that often confront publicly engaged academics. Scheper-Hughes stresses the importance of a public anthropology, but warns anthropologists of the troubles that can accompany such work:
Scholars who want to reach diverse publics—through popular writing, speaking or participating in social activism—are not only under-rewarded by their universities, they are often penalized for ‘dumbing down’ anthropological thinking, cutting social theory into ‘soundbites’, ‘vulgarising’ anthropology, sacrificing academic standards or (in the US) for playing to the anti-intellectual, illiberal American popular classes.
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