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11648 McCulloch Rd. Orlando, FL 32817 407-737-4018

Inquiring Minds

THIS WEEK    |   Listen Online via Zoom    |    Meeting ID 863 9059 0096

Why The World Needs Anthropologists (Part 2)

Retired Rollins College professor, Marilyn Kelch, returns this Sunday to continue her discussion on “Why The World Needs Anthropologists”. Last Sunday, we learned about some of the missteps of early efforts in Applied Anthropology and social science research in an effort to understand and assist other cultures as they confront a rapidly changing ecological and technological environment. But, we also learned about the potential value of such efforts as social science learns from past errors and improves.

This week Marilyn Kelch will focus on an exemplary Medical Anthropologist who set a high standard for all who have followed. The late Paul Farmer, who died this year at the age of 62, was known as “the man who would cure the world”, as described in the book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Farmer and his colleagues in the U.S. and abroad pioneered novel community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings in the U.S. and abroad. Farmer wrote extensively on health and human rights, the role of social inequalities in the distribution and outcome of infectious diseases, and global health.

As a child, Farmer and his family of eight lived in an old school bus that his father had transformed into a mobile home, and later they lived on a houseboat in the Gulf of Mexico. Farmer’s parents often read serious literature to their children, motivating them to learn as much as possible in regard to all that the world had to offer. From those meager beginnings, Paul Farmer went on to graduate from Duke, he volunteered at a hospital in Cange, Haiti, and subsequently, he attended Harvard University, earning an MD and a PhD in medical anthropology in 1990. He was the recipient of numerous honors, including the Bronislaw Malinowski Award and the Margaret Mead Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Suggested Reading
General Introduction with an ethical critique:

History and current research (2007):

Opinion: How Paul Farmer helped save the lives of millions of people

Paul Farmer Bio

Discussion Questions
1. Can anthropology survive separately from applied anthropology?
2. Has education become too applied at the expense of greater philosophical questions?
3. What does anthropology have to offer to the study of the human condition?
4. Should anthropology be absorbed into the traditional disciplines with which it overlaps – sociology, economics, political science, history, biology, etc.?



Our Inquiring Minds group meets to discuss a chosen topic in an informal setting. Subjects include religion, current events, politics, and science, among others. Drop-in visitors are always welcome. Inquiring Minds information is also available at the Plato’s Cave meetup website:


Please submit a relevant discussion subject to me that you would like to introduce for a future discussion. The introduction should be no more than 10-15 minutes.


Mar 06 2022


9:00 am - 10:00 am



Zoom meetings are online, video-conferencing meetings. It does require the installation of free software to your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Link to the particular Zoom location will be found in the event description.


Stephen Hall
Stephen Hall

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