Chapter 1

The Malinowski Award and the History of Applied Anthropology
Thomas Weaver

The Malinowski Award has been presented annually since 1973 by the Society for Applied Anthropology in recognition of efforts to understand and serve the needs of the world’s society through social science. Most of the twenty-eight persons who had received the award through 1999 were sociocultural anthropologists based in the U.S., but the award has gone to physical anthropologists, sociologists, and economists and to citizens of Mexico, Spain, Great Britain, and Sweden as well. The careers of the recipients of the award illustrate major themes in the development of applied anthropology in the twentieth century, and their Malinowski Award addresses provide an interesting reflection on issues and events of this era. From the academically based to those affiliated with government agencies and non-governmental organizations, the Malinowski Award recipients have created the applied social science of today. Their contributions validate the naming of the prize after Bronislaw Malinowski, a leading anthropologists of the early twentieth century who promoted and practiced the application of anthropology to the improvement of human life.