And Along Came Boas: Continuity and Revolution in by Regna Darnell

By Regna Darnell

An exam of Americanist anthropology, in keeping with Boasian and Powellist ideas and centering at the center of the continuity throughout paradigm transition.

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Hinsley (1981:125) recognizes a "monistic tendency" in Powell's science, leading him to "blur distinctions between the subject matter of Government-Sponsored Science 27 diverse sciences". The method of science, by which Powell meant primarily natural science, was more important than disciplinary boundaries. Immediately Powell began a campaign to extend the scope of the G e o logical Survey. T o this end, he manipulated personnel, collections, wording of Congressional bills, and political networks in order to build up an organization for government science.

T h e Smithsonian was intended to be a n e w kind of institution in American science, with less direct responsibility for public education than the local scientific societies. Limited funds would be preserved for research rather than devoted to extensive field projects, collection of material specimens, or the establishment of a library. Rather, the bequest would aid individuals and organizations to systematize and publish the results of their research. Smithsonian questionnaires covered a wide range of scientific disciplines, stressing "the desirability of guiding and expanding such casual contributions" (Judd 1967:7).

That is, the Society drew on general scientific rather than specific disciplinary interests. Professional affiliation was not a membership requirement. Washington anthropology was dispersed across institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, the United States National M u s e u m , the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Carnegie Institute. Joseph Henry founded the Philosophical Society of Washington in 1871 to facilitate communication The Development of Professional Anthropology in America 15 a m o n g Smithsonian scientists.

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