Chapter 29

Thayer Scudder: The Environment, Social Problems, and Development Anthropology
Thomas Weaver

The Emerging Global Crisis and Development Anthropology: Can We Have an Impact?
Thayer Scudder

Thayer Scudder (1930–) is an authority on the socioeconomic issues involved in river basin development and on assessing sustainable resources in Africa and Asia. Trained at Harvard in the 1950s, he was the sole anthropologist at the California Institute of Technology for many years. He also worked with the Institute for Development Anthropology in Binghamton, New York, and undertook consultancies and studies in many parts of the world. In his 1999 Malinowski Award address, Scudder contrasted the optimistic outlook in development typified by Knight Kiplinger’s book, World Boom Ahead: Why Business and Consumers Will Prosper (1998), with the views of 53 anthropologists involved in development in different parts of the world. He called upon anthropologists to redefine their teaching, research, and presentation of the discipline so that anthropological expertise and knowledge can be better used to help correct environmental and social issues.