Anthropology on the line

Created by Professor S. Elizabeth Bird as a means of promoting an anthropological perspective in the local community, the pilot broadcast of Anthroscope, a radio call-in show hosted by USF’s Department of Anthropology, focused on two hot issues in anthropology: the debate between evolutionary theory and creation science and urban redevelopment of Tampa’s Central Park area.

Bird, who also hosted the Jan. 28 show, said she sent WMNF a proposal for an anthropology radio show after learning that the station planned to make some changes in its broadcast schedule.

“I guess they liked it enough to give it a try,” she said.

She said the radio station is currently trying out different options to fill a Friday afternoon timeslot and that it might be a few weeks before she knows whether Anthroscope will be invited back.

She said the show was well received, eliciting feedback from several people.

“I enjoyed it. I felt that it went pretty well,” she said.

Bird said the purpose of the radio program is to address anthropological issues that have a direct relation to people’s lives. She said later topics might include the obesity epidemic in America and ethical issues regarding the ownership of Native American remains.

Bird’s guests on the program were associate professor Lorena Madrigal and professor Susan Greenbaum. An urban anthropologist, Greenbaum talked about the negative effects of inner-city redevelopment. Madrigal, a biological anthropologist, discussed her views on evolution and creationism.

“I was glad I had a chance to communicate my knowledge outside of the classroom,” Madrigal said. “But I was very nervous.”

During the show, Madrigal advocated teaching evolution in science classrooms and dismissed the idea that creation science should be taught as well. Some people called to express their opposing points of view, but were not rude while on the air.

“Nobody called to say I was going to hell,” Madrigal said, with a quick smile.