Earlier this week, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida singled out the field of anthropology as one that should receive less state funding because he thinks it doesn't help "create jobs" or spur the economy.
"You know, we don't need a lot more anthropologists in the state," Scott said in a radio interview. "It's a great degree if people want to get it, but we don't need them here."
Two chairs of anthropology departments in Florida told The Lookout they were baffled to hear that Scott was singling their discipline out as unproductive. Brent Weisman, the chair of anthropology at the University of South Florida, said he thought the governor might be clinging to an outdated stereotype of anthropologists "sitting around teaching underwater basket weaving."
But now we might know where he got that stereotype. According to the Associated Press, Scott's daughter Jordan Kandah received her anthropology degree at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. As of this year, out-of-state students pay $18,000 in tuition to attend that school. And Kandah indeed didn't pursue an anthropology career, opting instead to become a special education teacher. She is currently enrolled in a business graduate program now.
But she still appears to follow the field. Last month, she tweeted out a link to the blog of William & Mary anthropologist Barbara King.
Scott argues that state money should primarily go to supporting the so-called hard sciences, such as math and engineering.
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