Anthropology in Practice

Anthropology in Practice

Exploring the human condition.

Editor s Selections: Public Restrooms, Black Death, Social Cooperation, And Resilient Ecosystems


Part of my online life includes editorial duties at, where I serve as the Social Sciences Editor. Each Thursday, I pick notable posts on research in anthropology, philosophy, social science, and research to share on the News site. To help highlight this writing, I also share my selections here on AiP.

The range for selections for this week were extended to include a few notable items from Thanksgiving Break:

  • At Inkfish, Elizabeth Preston urges us not to urinate on the seat in public restrooms with a review of the bacteria researchers have found in this particular environment. It's an interesting read in terms of the overlap of ecosystems.
  • At Contagions, Michelle Ziegler explains why India and China may have narrowly avoided devastation from the Black Death and highlights the relationships between networks, space, and ways of knowing.
  • At The Primate Diaries, Eric Michael Johnson asks traces changes in the brain structure of social networkers to determine if the number of Facebook friends you have can make you smarter. Our inclination for social cooperation may prime some individuals to thrive in these socially-oriented environments.
  • And finally, at Per Square Mile, Tim DeChant explores how ecosystems can adapt when faced with human activity. It is a hopeful discussion that focuses on the positives of change.

I'll be back next week with more from anthropology, philosophy, and research.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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