Developmental Anthropologist Thayer Scudder (right) discusses the impacts of the Katse Dam in Lesotho, Africa with a local villager. Scudder is this year's Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program Lecturer.

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Anthropologist Thayer Scudder is This Year's Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Lecturer

Nov 3, 2011

This year's Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program Lecturer is Thayer Scudder, a developmental anthropologist from California Institute of Technology. Scudder will spend two days at Pacific visiting classes and will offer a public lecture on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the DeRosa University Center's ballroom. Both the lecture and a reception, which begins at 5:15 p.m., is open to the public.

Scudder has undertaken research in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North America over a 55 year career. Scudder's research devles into global trends, including the relationship between water and social life, and his research could shed light on the plight of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, organizers said.

His most recent book, "Global Threats, Global Futures: Living with Declining Living Standards," is the topic of his talk. "For the first time in history, a major characteristic of the 21st century will be the interplay of an increasing number of global threats which the world currently has neither the leadership nor institutional capacity to deal with at national and international levels," Scudder said. "Less familiar to the public than threats associated with global warming and nuclear power are poverty; economic, political and religious fundamentalism; increasing global consumption; urbanization; and environmental degradation. Such threats will be analyzed with special emphasis on poverty and fundamentalism."

Scudder has his doctorate from Harvard and has received major awards for his work from the American Anthropological Association, the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Society for Applied Anthropology. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program is supported by the national office of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, which underwrites a portion of its cost. Pacific's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa provides local arrangements for the visiting lecturers. Past speakers include Morris Fiorina, a political scientist from Stanford University, and Betty Smocovitis, a professor of zoology and history, from University of Florida.

For more information contact Bob Benedetti, Interim President of Pacific's PBK Chapter, at