Reimaging Process in 2016: Deliberations on a Year of Integrative Slow Science in Biological Anthropology

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2 Scopus citations


The year 2016 in biological anthropology represented a return to the methodical study of classic questions and increased integrative team-based research that utilizes multiple methodological approaches. This review is not comprehensive, but rather highlights several papers that reflect trends in four areas of research within biological anthropology: paleoanthropology, primatology, human biology, and anthropological genetics. Methodological innovation enabled scholars in paleoanthropology to tackle questions once hampered by small sample size. Primatologists approached studies of behavior and reproduction with the rigor characteristic of the subdiscipline, while paying increasing attention to anthropogenic influences on primate habitats. Like their colleagues in paleoanthropology, human biologists also returned to enduring questions regarding reproduction, human adaptation, and behavior, including, notably, a focus on variability in cultural practice and meaning, as well as resource inequity. The publications representing anthropological genetics signify a movement toward an incorporation of multiple lines of evidence in our understanding of human and nonhuman primate ancestry. In total, these papers reveal shifts in biological anthropology toward research that is increasingly aware of the limits of siloed science and attuned to addressing issues salient to the populations and communities in which we work. [comparative morphology, Anthropocene, anthropological genetics, human biology].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-307
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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