Anthropology and the Question of Alien Life

Among the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life) community, a debate has recently emerged. For decades, and with the imprimatur of the NSF, SETI has passively listened for signals of intelligent life from space. In the novel and film Contact, Carl Sagan envisions a scenario in which scientists, at the Very Large Array facility in New […]

The Civil War and How My Family Became White

In 1862, my great-grandfather, William Harkin, was a 27-year old man living in a small village in County Donegal, Ireland. He would have been ten years old at the start of the Great Famine, but was not one of the millions who died or emigrated. Times were still hard in the 1860s, as British rule […]