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The Bone Readers
Science and Politics in Human Origins Research
Claudio Tuniz (Author); Richard Gillespie (Author); Cheryl Jones (Author)
272 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / Aug, 2009
Paperback (978-1-59874-475-0)
eBook (978-1-61132-668-0)
eBook Rental - 180 Days (978-1-61132-668-0)
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Related Interest
  - Anthropology
  - Archaeology
  - Physical/Biological Anthropology

2010 CHOICE Outstanding Title
The Bone Readers are a dedicated group of scholars who study the earliest human remains, their chemistry and DNA, their extinct floral and faunal contemporaries, and the geologic layers in which they
"Bone Readers provides a clear and accessible account of the interweaving of science and politics in human origins research in Australia…Science is not a completely social construct, but it does not take place in a sociopolitical vacuum, either. Bone Readers makes excellent supplementary reading to a main textbook for an upper-level undergraduate course in archaeology or human evolution. Furthermore, to anyone interested in the various threads that make the tapestry of human origins research, Bone Readers provides much food for thought."

- Sang-Hee Lee, Journal of Anthropological Research

"The Bone Readers offers a stimulating, thought-provoking discussion of the collision between science and ethics, providing a rare and fascinating glimpse inside the volatile politics of human origins research. Candid discussions of mean-spirited bickering and unethical scientific demeanor open an insightful window onto the nature of scientific inquiry. This intriguing book will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of science, paleoanthropology, paleontology, bioethics, or the politics of indigenous peoples. It is a sensitive look of a multifaceted problem that has become a major issue in human origins research. Summing Up: Highly Recommended. "

- D.A. Brass, CHOICE

"Anyone interested in understanding extinctions in Australia, and comparing them with human caused extinctions elsewhere, will not want to miss this stimulating book!"

- Paul Martin, University of Arizona emeritus, and author of Twilight of the Mammoths

" An easy-reading and illuminating account of recent developments in the area of paleoanthropology lying exactly at the intersection of science and politics "

- Ian Tattersall, author of The Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know About Human Evolution

" Full of intrigue, deceit and astonishing discoveries, The Bone Readers is the most thrilling account of human evolution and those who study it yet penned. It\'s destined to become a classic. "

- Professor Tim Flannery, environmentalist, author, and 2007 Australian of the Year

"This book is full of important questions and some illuminating answers. It is a fascinating story, well and simply told."

- Andrew Haesley, Law Society Journal

"Loaded with political and personal agendas, controversial peer review, ever-changing scientific techniques, claims, counter-claims and stunts. Good to see people questioning claims."

- Geelong Advertiser

"The Bone Readers explores the controversies surrounding the remainsof early humans found in Australia’s outback…Rather than deliver ultimate truths, they offer a myriad of theories which over time are contested, disproved, or refined."

- Canberra Times

"In many ways this is a portrait of the state of scientific inquiry into prehistory, the bone readers being those who, using the latest methods and technology, reconstruct its face. Political and cultural debates also come into significant play as does the clash between more traditional scientific method and post-modernist theory."

- Capital City Daily, Melbourne

"This excellent book not only clearly presents the science behind research on human origins, but also the personalities and the politics."

- Professor Chris Stringer FRS, The Natural History Museum, London

were found. Their research leads them to theories about modern human origins that continually challenge conventional wisdom and cherished beliefs— about “Eve ,” Neanderthals, “hobbits,” and the Bering Straits, among others. Two leading Bone Readers and a science writer have penned a literate, authoritative summary of the current questions and the minefield of academic politics that surround it. Ideal for students in human origins or biological anthropology courses, and a delightful read.

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