Scudder, Thayer 1930-
Scudder, Thayer 1930-
Scudder, Thayer 1930-
Born August 4, 1930, in New Haven, CT; son of Townsend III and Virginia Scudder; married Mary Eliza Drinker, August 26, 1950; children: Mary Eliza, Alice Thayer. Education: Harvard University, A.B., 1952, Ph.D., 1960; postgraduate work at Yale University, 1953-54, and London School of Economics and Political Science, London, 1960-61.
U.S. Climatic Research Laboratory, technologist in environmental physiology, 1953; Rhodes-Livingstone Institute, Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), research officer, 1956-57; American University of Cairo, Cairo, Egypt, assistant professor of social anthropology, 1961-62; Rhodes-Livingstone Institute, senior research officer, 1962-63; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 1963-64; California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, assistant professor, 1964-66, associate professor, 1966-69, professor of anthropology, 1969-2000, professor emeritus, 2000—. Director of Institute for Development Anthropology, Binghamton, NY, 1976-2002; commissioner, World Commission on Dams, 1998-2000; consultant to International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, World Health Organization, U.S. Agency for International Development, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Ford Foundation, Navajo Tribal Council, AID, World Conservation Union, Lesotho Highlands Development Authority, South China Electric Power Joint Venture Corp., U.S. National Research Council, Quebec Hydro, Environmental Defense Fund, Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Nature Conservancy.
American Anthropological Association, Society for Applied Anthropology, American Alpine Club.
Fellow of Social Science Research Council in London, England, 1960-61; Guggenheim fellow, 1975-76; Solon T. Kimball award for public and applied anthropology, 1984, and Edward J. Lehman award, 1991, both from American Anthropological Association; Lucy Mair medal for applied anthropology, Royal Anthropological Institute, 1998; Bronislaw Malinowski award, Society for Applied Anthropology, 1999; John Phillips award, Phillips Exeter Academy, 2005.
The Ecology of the Gwembe Tonga, Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 1962.
Gathering among African Woodlands Savannah Cultivators: A Case Study—The Gwembe Tonga, Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 1971.
(With David W. Brokensha and Michael M. Horowitz) The Anthropology of Rural Development in the Sahel: Proposals for Research, Institute for Development Anthropology (Binghamton, NY), 1979.
(With David F. Aberle) Expected Impacts of Compulsory Relocation on Navajos, with Special Emphasis on Relocation from the Former Joint Use Area Required by Public Law 93-531, Institute for Development Anthropology (Binghamton, NY), 1979.
(With Elizabeth Colson) Secondary Education and the Formation of an Elite: The Impact of Education on Gwembe District, Zambia, Academic Press (New York, NY), 1980.
From Relief to Development: Some Comments on Refugee and Other Settlement in Somalia, Institute for Development Anthropology (Binghamton, NY), 1981.
(With Elizabeth Colson and Mary E.D. Scudder) An Evaluation of the Gwembe South Development Project, Zambia, Institute for Development Anthropology (Binghamton, NY), 1982.
(With David F. Aberle) No Place to Go: The Effects of Compulsory Relocation on Navajos, Institute for the Study of Human Issues (Philadelphia, PA), 1982.
Regional Planning for People, Parks, and Wildlife in the Northern Portion of the Sebungwe Region, Zimbabwe, Institute for Development Anthropology (Binghamton, NY), 1982.
A History of Development in the Twentieth Century: The Zambian Portion of the Middle Zambezi Valley and the Lake Kariba Basin, Institute for Development Anthropology (Binghamton, NY), 1985.
(With Elizabeth Colson) For Prayer and Profit: The Ritual, Economic, and Social Importance of Beer in Gwembe District, Zambia, 1950-1982, Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 1988.
Overview of the African Experience with River Basin Development: Achievements to Date, the Role of Traditions, and Strategies for the Future, Institute for Development Anthropology (Binghamton, NY), 1988.
(With Della E. McMillan and Thomas Painter) Settlement and Development in the River Blindness Control Zone, World Bank (Washington, DC), 1992.
The Future of Large Dams: Dealing with Social, Environmental, Institutional, and Political Costs, Earthscan (Sterling, VA), 2005.
Also coeditor of Long-term Field Research in Social Anthropology, 1979. Senior author of The IUCN Review of the Southern Okavango Integrated Water Development Project, 1993. Contributor to books, including Water Resources: Environmental Planning, Management, and Development, edited by Asit K. Biswas, 1997, and Dams and Development, 2000. Contributor to journals, including Journal of Refugees Studies, Natural Resources Forum, and International Journal of Water Resources Development.
Anthropologist Thayer Scudder has done extensive research and writing on the development of natural resources in the tropics and subtropics and how it affects impoverished people. He has worked with many international bodies, including the World Commission on Dams, which gave rise to his book The Future of Large Dams: Dealing with Social, Environmental, Institutional, and Political Costs.
In this book, Scudder elaborates on the commission's finding that large dams help meet needs in developing countries, but that their construction and planning processes could be improved. For instance, dam building often necessitates relocating residents, something that has been beneficial in some cases but detrimental in others. Scudder suggests forming an international body to handle complaints and urges future dam builders to follow the commission's recommendations, such as making sure they have local support and that any gains are distributed fairly.
Some critics found Scudder an expert and insightful commentator on the topic. He offers a "thorough analysis" and "practical recommendations," related Charles W. Howe in Environment. While the book is "written primarily for policymakers," Howe added, "it is also a rich source for researchers."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Anthropologist, March, 1989, Mac Marshall, review of For Prayer and Profit: The Ritual, Economic, and Social Importance of Beer in Gwembe District, Zambia, 1950-1982, p. 220.
American Ethnologist, August, 1990, Linda A. Bennett, review of For Prayer and Profit, p. 574.
Contemporary Drug Problems, spring, 1989, Ron Roizen, review of For Prayer and Profit, pp. 111-115.
Desert, October, 1980, "Cal Tech Prof Says Navajos Should Stay," p. 34.
Environment, October, 2005, Charles W. Howe, review of The Future of Large Dams: Dealing with Social, Environmental, Institutional, and Political Costs, p. 42.
Man, March, 1990, Stephen R. Smith, review of For Prayer and Profit, p. 161.
Natural Resources Forum, November, 2005, Chris De Wet, review of The Future of Large Dams, p. 413.
Natural Resources Journal, fall, 2005, Charles W. Howe, review of The Future of Large Dams, pp. 1117-1119.
Nature, June 23, 2005, Christer Nilsson, review of The Future of Large Dams, p. 1031.
SciTech Book News, September, 2006, review of The Future of Large Dams.
California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences Web site,http://www.hss.caltech.edu/ (February 21, 2008), brief biography of the author.