Alice Dreger: Napoleon Chagnon Is Dead https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/20191023-dreger-chagnon: "The peer-reviewed article I ultimately published in Human Nature about the AAA task force is the angriest academic piece I have ever written.... Tierney had misrepresented so much. The chair of the AAA task force knew it too. That was Jane Hill, former president of the AAA. During my research, Sarah Hrdy shared with me a previously confidential message, dated April 15, 2002, in which Hill responded to Hrdy’s concerns about the task force’s work. 'Burn this message', Hill told Hrdy. 'The book [by Tierney] is just a piece of sleaze, that’s all there is to it (some cosmetic language will be used in the report, but we all agree on that). But I think the AAA had to do something because I really think that the future of work by anthropologists with indigenous peoples in Latin America—with a high potential to do good—was put seriously at risk by its accusations, and silence on the part of the AAA would have been interpreted as either assent or cowardice. Whether we’re doing the right thing will have to be judged by posterity.'... Of course, the failure of facts in the Darkness case extended beyond academe. If The New Yorker and W.W. Norton had done proper fact-checking, so much mischief would have been avoided. Still, the AAA made it all much worse. The AAA could have done what the National Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Human Genetics, the International Genetic Epidemiology Society, and the Society for Visual Anthropology did: looked at the facts and condemned Tierney. Instead, the AAA thanked Tierney 'for his valuable service.' A kangaroo court. A show trial. That’s how many saw the AAA investigation. The AAA membership eventually voted to rescind acceptance of the report. 'It was really amateur hour' at the AAA, Hagen told me...


#noted #2019-10-23

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