Public Interest in Anthropology

Fri, 21 Apr 1995 09:44:00 +0100

On 11 April Rachel wrote:-

> Nick, i disagree that people don't have a voracious interest in
> arch/anth/hist--witness, for instance, the success of Jean Aul and other
> novelists setting their work in prehistoric times.

> in any case, there's still no reason
> for us to make information inaccessible, or imagine that it's only for
> the 'learned.' "Challenging people" is all very well, if they've been
> given any foundation from which to start. and, how can interest be
> increased (leading to increased funding????!!!!) unless an effort is
> made on the part of those with the information?

As one of the outsiders I should like to echo the above sentiment.
I train electronic service engineers and have had an interest in archeology
for many years, particulaly ancient Egypt but have only recently discovered
Anthropology thanks entirel to Jean M Auel' s books.
My interest having been awakened I am now reading many of the <popular>
books on anthropology including <in search of the Neanderthals> and some
of the older works such as <the people of the lake>.
I also absorb all the TV programs I can get, indeed that is how I heard about
the <radiator> theory of brain development.
I think in England we are pretty lucky in the quality of the TV we get but
even so I hate being talked down to.
It seems that TV producers try to go for the largest possible audience by
pitching the program to the lowest common denominator.
Surely the outstanding success of <A brief History of Time> by Stephen
Hawking shows that there is a real demand for high quality Science books
and programs that assume the audience is of high intelligence. (By definition
half of the population is above average intelligence).
So yes Rachel, I agree, there are lots of us out here that need challenging.

ps I do not intend posting to the group regularly as I am not qualified to
do so but I will continue to read with interest.
Best Regards