Public Policy/Advocacy

Task Force for Comprehensive Ethics Review

As the membership is aware, there have been recent revisions to the AAA's Code of Ethics, in response to a motion put forward at the business meeting of the AAA in 2007.  The revisions, on which the membership will vote next week, were specific to only a few sections of the code, and consisted of a very few sentences.  In light of the specificity of those revisions, the Executive Board has determined that a more comprehensive review of the entire Code of Ethics is warranted.  The EB has convened a task force to undertake such a review over the next two years.  The official charge is:

"The Executive Board recommends the formation of a Task Force to review and propose revisions to the AAA Code of Ethics, which: (a) will consist of three (3) members of the Committee on Ethics and five (5) additional members to be chosen by the President in consultation with the Executive Board and the Task Force Chair; (b) be authorized to review the Code of Ethics for a period of no longer than 18 months, and (c) consult extensively over a period of no less than six months with relevant AAA committees and commissions, the Section Assembly, the membership at large and others through presentations and panel discussions at the 2009 annual meeting and articles and reports in Anthropology News.  The new code is subject to approval by the Executive Board before being submitted for approval to the AAA membership by email ballot.  This Task Force will issue its final report to the Executive Board by Nov. 15, 2010."

The task force members (and e-mail addresses) are as follows:

Alec Barker
Charles Briggs
Katie MacKinnon    (sharing duties with Catherine Panter-Brick:
Laura McNamara
Dena Plemmons (chair)
David Price
Dhooleka Raj
Niel Tashima

Our AAA staff liaison is Damon Dozier (

A crucial part of this review will be the solicitation of member opinions and suggestions; please feel free to contact any member of the task force with questions or concerns about, or suggestions for, this process.