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Aims and Objectives
A proposal from a "Faculty of Anthropogeny" (which includes CARTA members) for a new transdisciplinary graduate specialization in Anthropogeny has been approved. It is aimed at providing graduate students from within a variety of existing UCSD programs the opportunity to specialize in research and education on explaining the human phenomenon. The goal is to rectify the absence of existing training programs that provide such a broad and explicitly transdisciplinary approach – spanning the social and natural sciences– and focussing on one of the oldest questions of humankind, namely, the origins of humans and humanity.
The broad topic areas will include:
- Human and Primate Genetics and Evolution
- Paleoanthropology and Hominid Origins
- Mammalian and Primate Neurosciences
- Primate Biology and Medicine
- Language and Cognition
- Nature-Nurture Interactions in Explaining Language and Cognition
- Human and Primate Society and Culture
- Comparative Developmental Biology of Primates
- General Theories for Explaining Humans
Participating Ph. D. Granting Programs for a Specialized Track in Anthropogeny.
Transdisciplinary Graduate Training Program in Anthropogeny. While Anthropology is the discipline that comes closest, there is at present no graduate program specifically dedicated towards a transdisciplinary education in Anthropogeny.
- Demands While existing scientific disciplines continue to expand their respective bodies of knowledge, making it impossible for any individual to keep up with all the progress even in narrowly defined research areas, the capacity to understand and integrate scientific findings from widely differing fields of research will become an increasingly important, yet rare, skill. The study of human origins is a key example of a research endeavor which critically relies on such integration skills. The proposed new specialization in Anthropogeny aims to equip future scientists with the necessary interdisciplinary skills and panoramic perspective needed for advancing our understanding of human origins.
- Market Needs Areas as disparate as medicine, public health, environmental policy and marketing have come to increasingly rely on evolutionary approaches to observed human phenomena. Public and private sectors alike have an increasing need for individuals with scientific training accompanied by understanding of natural and social sciences and the capacity to translate findings from these different areas for specialists and the public at large.
- Placement Opportunities Graduate students complementing their traditional degree with a specialization in Anthropogeny would gain valuable training in transdisciplinary research spanning the social and natural sciences. Such skill and qualification will greatly benefit students as they embark on future careers in both public and private sectors, where the capacity to mediate between different types of knowledge bases is becoming increasingly important. The proposal is that all participants will have their primary degree complemented with the Anthropogeny specialization. Whether their future careers are in teaching, basic research, industry, public service or private enterprise, their capacity for working with findings from a variety of disciplines is bound to make them valuable assets for their employers.