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Expanding the Influence of Applied Social Science

13 April, 2010

Not a member of the society myself I received the invitation below and thought that some following this blog might be interested to attend The 2011 Society for Applied Anthropology meeting that will be held at the Grand Hyatt in Seattle from March 30 to April 2, 2011.

The Conference theme will be:

Expanding the Influence of Applied Social Science

The world has changed in many ways since the Society for Applied Anthropology last met in Seattle over a decade ago.  Our members and those we work with have met enormous new challenges with renewed energy and remarkable resourcefulness. In 2011, we will gather to examine our recent efforts and tool for the future. Where and how have we been successful using our methods and concepts to help solve problems? Where have we helped turned conventional wisdom on edge? What policy changes has our work informed and how have we done communicating our findings?  Where have we not been successful and why?  Looking inward, what have we learned about ourselves, how have we contributed to social science theory, and what adjustments might we make to improve our work in the future?

The Pacific Northwest, an exciting and dynamic region where tradition and innovation are intertwined, is the perfect place to meet and address these questions. Throughout the region, applied social scientists work on important initiatives both locally and across the globe.  We continue to work with communities that have long been a focus of applied social science, such as American Indians, and are engaging new groups, including corporations in industries from biomedicine to retail and technology. We continue to work on long-term problems in areas such as health care and education, and we innovate in new areas such as fisheries management and heritage protection. We continue to use our time-tested methods for engaging people and developing context, and we continually develop new ways to collect, analyze, and portray information in our drive for applied knowledge and wisdom.

We invite you to Seattle for invigorating discussions and presentations about experiences and approaches to solving contemporary cultural problems. We solicit case studies that bridge practice and theory, application and evaluation, tradition and innovation. In our quest to build a sustainable, relevant, and vibrant discipline, we seek sessions that incorporate the voices of our senior, junior, and student colleagues; our partners; our clients; and the people we are trying to help.

Not ready to present? We encourage you to come listen, engage, ask questions, collect ideas, and take them to discuss with your students, professors, and colleagues at home.

In recognition of our gathering in the Pacific Northwest and in the spirit of SfAA’s long history of working with North American indigenous communities, we will dedicate several sessions to the process of cultural perpetuation. For indigenous groups and others who chose to maintain their cultural identity, perpetuation of lifestyle through education, language, protection of cultural and natural resources, and access to traditional foods are ongoing struggles. Action agendas that emerge from these sessions will be compiled in a special publication and distributed proactively.

On behalf of the Society for Applied Anthropology and 2010 program committee, I look forward to seeing you-in one of the most innovative and interesting cities in North America-to help prepare for the challenges of the 21st century.

Australian researchers and practitioners interested in attending and participating are encouraged to contact Dr Darby Stapp, the Conference
Organiser at

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