Sunday, June 13, 2010

Camp Curie: Friday Behavior Scientists

Friday:  Behavior
Margret Mead – social human behavior
Dian Fossie  - Gorillas
Mary Leakey – Anthropologist.  Discovered early human  / hominid remains
Zora Neal Hurston - Anthropologist
Jill Bolte Taylor    Neuroanatomist

Zora Neal Hurston - Anthropologist
She was an inspiration to others, like African American Anthropologist, Zora Neal Hurston (1891-1960).  In the 1930’s, she traveled to places like backwoods Florida, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Bahamas studying the different cultures of African Americans.  She is most known for her study on Voodoo.  She also became a famous writer during the Harlem Renaissance.

After a highly successful career, Mead was inducted to the Women’s Hall of Fame in 1976. 
Because I should have a LOT more written here and am so tired - I want to direct you to
This is where i got this description of her - I DID NOT WRITE THIS - BUT CUT AND PASTED IT!
Credit is due towards this site:
"(b.Jan. 7, 1891?, Notasulga, Ala.-d.Jan. 28, 1960, Fort Pierce, Fla.)   Zora Neale Hurston, novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist, was much responsible for the Harlem Renaissance being the watershed event in black America as delineated through literature that it was.  Despite that she would later fall into disrepute because of her rigid views about civil rights, her earthy lyrical writing which lionized southern black culture has influenced generations of black American literary figures.
The early life of Zora Neale Hurston has been shrouded in mystery.  While the majority of biographical accounts list the year of her birth as 1901, just as many list 1903, and in recent years 1891.  For many years her birthplace was said to have been Eatonville, Fla. (the setting of many of her writings), however, recent evidence has placed it as Notasulga, Ala.  Zora was the fifth of eight children of John and Lucy Ann Potts Hurston.  Her father was a Baptist preacher, tenant farmer, and carpenter.  At age three her family moved to Eatonville, the first incorporated black community in America with a then population of 125, and of which her father would later become mayor.  To Zora Eatonville would become a utopia, glorified in her stories as a place black Americans could live as they desire, independent of white society and all its ways.  The death of her mother when she was thirteen was a devastating event for Zora as she was "passed around the family like a bad penny" by her father for the next several years.
Upon reaching adulthood Zora was working as a domestic, still leading an itinerant life, with little schooling.  She was in Baltimore in 1917, when through the aid of her employer she entered in Morgan Academy (the high school division of Morgan College (now Morgan State University).  Though twenty-six years old at enrollment, she listed her age as sixteen and 1901 as the date of her birth.  With her graduation in 1918, she matriculated at Howard University in Washington, D.C.  Here she was inspired by the professor of philosophy and authority on black culture Alain Locke and decided to pursue a literary career.  In 1921, her first short story "John Redding Goes to Sea" that was set in Eatonville was published in the Howard literary magazine The Stylus.  In the following years she contributed several more stories to various magazines.  One of these "Spunk" was published in the black journal Opportunity and caught the attention of such poets as Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen, who were active in a nascent artistic movement called the Harlem Renaissance.  Zora transferred to Barnard College, an affiliate of  Columbia University, where she was offered a scholarship in anthropology (she would take her B.A. in 1928).  And being in New York City she quickly became a recognized member of the movement.
The Harlem Renaissance was a period during which black artists broke with the traditional dialectal works and imitating white writers to explore black culture and express pride in their race.  This was expressed in literature, music, art, in addition to other forms of artistic expression.  Zora and her stories about Eatonville became a major force in shaping these ideals.  Additionally, she combined her studies in anthropology with her literary output.  Studying under the famed professor of anthropology Franz Boas, she undertook field research (1927-1932) in the south with a fellowship from the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History during which she collected folklore and interviewed a former slave.  Her results where published in the article "Cudjo's Own Story of the Last African Slaves" in 1927, which forty-five years later was found to have been plagiarized from Historic Sketches of the Old South by Emma Langdon Roche (1914).  In 1930, Zora and Langston Hughes collaborated on a play Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life.  However, they became embroiled in a dispute over who deserved credit and the play never saw production.
Through a Rosenwald Fellowship (1934) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1935-1936) Zora engaged in her most fruitful anthropological field research which produced her finest literature.  In 1934 her first novel Jonah's Gourd Vine was published.  Set in the fictional Sanford (a thinly disguised Eatonville), it tells of Jonah, a black Baptist preacher who is abundant in emotion and has a weakness for women.  The New York Times critic Margaret Wallace stated it was "the most vital and original novel about the American Negro that has yet been written by a member of the Negro race."  In 1935 Mules and Men was published.  An investigation of voodoo practices in black America in focused on Florida and New Orleans in excellently recorded the folkways and songs of the rural south along with its main topic-the detail of which Zora gained from her own participation.  The critic Lewis Gannett of the New York Herald Tribune stated: "I can't remember anything better since Uncle Remus."
From 1936 to 1938, Zora studied in Jamaica and Haiti on a Guggenheim Fellowship.  This laid the groundwork for Tell My Horse (1938), a travelogue and a study of Caribbean voodoo.  The reviews were mixed: praising it as vivid, keen, and humorous and criticizing it as tedious, sensationalistic, and misrepresentative.  Notwithstanding, Zora's second novel Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), which took place in Eatonville and told the story of a quadroon named Janie and her three marriages was in general praised as beautiful, touching, and irresistible.
In 1939, Zora's second-to-last novel Moses, Man of the Mountain was published.  A modern version of the biblical story with a black voodoo magician named Moses as the main character, it was credited as being realistic and poetic, but it drew criticism for, as cited by the critic Louis Untermeyer, being unfulfilling as a whole though the characters were painted convincingly.  In the following years Zora's literary output was sporadic.  Her autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road (1942) and was a commercial success.  Although written vividly and wittily, it suffered from gross inaccuracies as Zora attempted to paint a picture of her life according to the fantasy world she idealized.  Her final novel Seraph on the Suwanee (1948), was set in Florida in the early twentieth century and oddly enough was about a white family named Meserve.  Generally the critics considered this book unconvincing, though Zora's writing ability was noted.
Throughout her literary career Zora garnered much criticism for her failure to address the subject of racism as meted out by the white American society in her portrayals of black society.  Zora seemed to view the entire world from the perspective of Eatonville, a place that blacks could be sovereign from all of white society, even the segregation that enveloped it as a southern town.  Many of her contemporaries felt she was not seeing the whole picture, and as the civil rights movement burgeoned in the years after World War II and the majority of black writers adopted this as a theme, Zora's literary appeal waned.  Then her reputation was scathed in 1948 when she was arrested for molesting a ten-year-old retarded boy; the charges were later dropped.
Despite this scandal, it was much of Zora's own doing that tarnished her reputation.  She wrote an article in 1950 attacking the right of blacks to vote in the south, charging that votes were being bought.  Then she railed the desegregation ruling in Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Ks.American Legion Magazine and campaigned for the ultraconservative Senator Robert Taft of Ohio for the GOP presidential nomination in 1952.  This only alienated black America more and more. in 1954, on the grounds that black children do not need to go to school with white children in order to learn; to this many civil right leaders took umbrage.  Zora wrote for such right wing publications as
Poverty and obscurity marked Zora's last years, during which she worked mostly as a domestic-as she had started out.  She worked on a book The Life of Herod the Great, but never completed it.  Illness finally overcame her when she suffered a severe stroke in 1959, after which she was committed to the Saint Lucie County Welfare Home in Fort Pierce, Fla.  It was here that Zora Neale Hurston died of hypertensive heart disease on Jan. 28, 1960.
For all the opprobrium that Zora Neale Hurston received later in her career, the brilliance of her literary works cannot be denied.  Future black writers such as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker were greatly influenced by her books, and ironically they have addressed the issue of prejudice in their books.  And any aspect of black culture that remains preserved today and continues to enlighten us owes its status in one way or another to Zora Neale Hurston."
I DID NOT WRITE THIS - BUT CUT AND PASTED IT! Credit is due towards this site:

Jane Goodall (1934 – present), Zoologist, Ethnologist, Ecologist, ActivistRoots & Shoots
Jane Goodall is one of the world’s most famous scientists.  Steven Jay Gould declared her work as “one of the western world’s greatest scientific achievements”.  Without a college degree or any scientific background, Jane Goodall made some of the greatest scientific discoveries in the world of animal behavior, revolutionizing the field, and inspiring many budding scientists.  Much of Goodall’s success can be credited to her humane approach she took to her work.  Instead of assigning her chimps numbers, she gave them names, and documented her observations with stories rather than measurements.  It was this same aspect of her personality that gained her the success with Chimpanzees that no one else had gotten when trying to observe them before.  Kindness, patients, and observation.
Goodall’s career really began when she was little. Her most notorious defining moment was when she vanished for 5 hours.  Her family had just called the police when they found out that she’d been in the hen house the entire time.  She was waiting for a hen to lay an egg so she’d know how it happens and where it came from.  She was intrigued by many of her children book adventures based in Africa, and even her first and favorite toy was a stuffed Chimpanzees named Jubilee.
When her parents divorced, her, her sister and her mother were left with next to nothing, so she had to abandon her plans for college and work as a secretary.  These skills proved useful, for in 1957, a friend of hers from school asked her to visit her in Kenya, where she was working.  Goodall leapt at the chance, and it was there in Kenya that she met Louis S.B. Leakey, famous archeologist known for his discoveries about early man.  He liked her immediately, and hired her to be his assistant secretary.
Leakey was starting a study observing the behavior of some of our closest genetic relatives, the great apes, to gain a better guess at what the behaviors of early man was like.  He asked Goodall if she’d be interested handling the research of the Chimpanzees, and she accepted right away.
It took three months before she saw any chimpanzees at all.  But with patients, and finally abandoning an aggressive search and see approach, she let them come to her.  Watching them from a distance, and slowly over time, having them accept her realizing she wasn’t a threat.
Goodall made many astounding discoveries and much more than the scientific world knew prior.  She saw them hunting and eating meat, when it was thought before they were strictly vegetarians.  She began to distinguish sounds that had approximate language associated with it.  She saw horrible things like watching them wage war, and wonderful things like seeing them have moments of awe at natural wonders, like waterfalls.  Most astounding was discovering that chimpanzees use tools and make tools.  This was an amazing discovery because tools were strictly associated with humans’ abilities and no other.  Suddenly, our distant cousins didn’t seem so distant anymore. 
In 1975, she realized that her knowledge was better served in educating the public on trying to preserve and protect these, and other animals.  In the 1900 it was assumed that there were some 2 million chimpanzees in the world, now it is down to 200,000, scattered around, and loosing numbers quickly.  Not only is she trying to save the chimpanzees but also to stop habitat destruction, poaching, and abusive treatment of all animals. 
In 1991 she started the Roots and Shoots organization designed to educate children about nature, science, and preservation.  She still is traveling the globe, lecturing, and continuing to inspire and save these wonderful creatures from extinction.








Jane Goodal: Reasons for Hope

Jane Goodal: What separates us from Apes


Dian Fossie  - Gorillas

The Movie about Diane Fossie's life - when i was little it changed my life


MARGRET MEAD (1901 – 1978) Anthropologist
Margaret Mead was the anthropologist that suggested that children develop their personality based largely on the culture they are raised in, and not solely on genetics as believed prior to her research.  This was highly controversial at the time she made her studies public her in 1925.  She made these ground breaking observations earlier that year when she and her first husband traveled to the Samoan islands for six months to study the behavior of adolescent girls.  Mead was the first to realize, that in order to observe a culture, you must understand it.  To best do this, you must have some sort of engaged experience with the culture before you can pick up some of the nuances and know some of the basic societal rules to begin with.  She was the first Anthropologist to both learn the language, practice the native customs, eating and living along side the people she was working with. 
She spent the rest of her life traveling the globe studying many other cultures, specifically the cultures of Pacific Island and the Native Americans.  She wrote several books, and taking over some 40,000 photos of the Balinese people alone.  She belonged to several associations in Anthropology, arts and science, scientific advancement, gave many lectures and was highly acclaimed, winning many awards.

Louise Leakey digs for humanity's origins

Jill Bolte Taylor    Neuroanatomist
My stroke of insight: - what is it like to live entirely on the right side of your brain

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