Darkness in El Dorado - Archived Document
Anthropological Niche of Douglas W. Hume
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Internet Source: American Anthropological Association, Working Papers of the AAA El Dorado Task Force
Alternate Source URL: http://www.aaanet.org/edtf/ray_resign.htm


My Resignation Letter

Dear Task Force Members:

When I initially discussed my participation on the Task Force with President Louise Lamphere I detailed my long-standing association with Napoleon Chagnon. Among other things, he was a member of my thesis committee, we had co-authored several papers, and we were co-recipients of an NSF grant. She said that she was aware of the association. The relevant issue to her was whether I could objectively do the work of the Task Force. I told her I could and I am convinced that my work for the Task Force has been objective and unbiased.

Nevertheless, my association with Chagnon presents the appearance of bias. Consequently, I feel it is in the best interest of the American Anthropological Association that I resign from the Task Force. In hindsight, I should have refused the invitation to participate. The goal of the Task Force is to produce an accurate and unbiased appraisal of ethical research practices by anthropologists among the Yanomamo. Any false perception that this goal was not met can only harm our association and the vitiate the findings of the Task Force.

Finally, to achieve the Task Force goal of impartiality, my name as primary, secondary, or supplementary author should be removed from all sections of the "Working Papers."

Raymond Hames
Anthropology Department
University of Nebraska
http://www.aaanet.org/edtf/ray_resign.htm