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Cast Your Vote, AAA Members, on the Code of Ethics

Today’s special guest blog post is from AAA President, Leith Mullings.

Dear AAA Member:

After a five-year process, I am pleased to now ask you to vote on revisions to our association’s Code of Ethics. As many of you know, in 2005 the Executive Board (EB) set up the Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the US Security and Intelligence Communities (CEAUSSIC) to consider issues raised by efforts to recruit anthropologists to U.S. military and intelligence projects. At the 2007 business meeting, the AAA passed a resolution calling for restoration of four clauses in the 1971 Principles of Professional Responsibility to the AAA Code of Ethics. Subsequently, CEAUSSIC recommended a comprehensive review of the Code.

In 2009, the EB established an eight-person task force to undertake this review. The task force was selected to represent the concerns of all the subfields, academic and practicing anthropologists, anthropologists who consult with the military, as well as those who are critical of it. After extensive consultation, the task force submitted a revised Code to the EB in November 2011. The EB posted the new draft code on the association website and invited comments from the membership. Once the comment period closed on January 30, 2012, a representative subcommittee of the EB made revisions based on members’ comments. This document was then brought before the Executive Board in May, 2012. After extensive discussion and additional revisions the EB voted unanimously to accept the document that is now presented for your vote. In addition, the EB agreed that the 1971 title, “Principles of Professional Responsibility,” better represented the new document, which we also suggest can be referred to as a Statement on Ethics.

As my EB colleagues Hugh Gusterson (George Mason U) and Monica Heller (U Toronto) noted in the September 2012 AN, this version will be placed on the web, is considered to be a living document and has hyperlinks to key background texts, to which we expect members to contribute. Our intent is that the Committee on Ethics be stewards of this document, facilitating on-going discussion.

Your vote will be whether or not to accept the 2012 Principles of Professional Responsibility (with the understanding that the text links to supporting or background materials are expected to be changed and updated over time). The balloting will close on October 25. Many thanks to all of you who helped to create this document.

In order to vote, you can login through the Account/Member Profile LOGIN area at the top of the page of the AAA website. You can access the AAA site (www.aaanet.org) using your favorite browser.  Once you login, you will see a VOTE NOW button. Click on it and you will be taken to the ballot where you can cast your vote. You can review the text of the statement on ethics by clicking on the details button on the ballot. If you have any difficulties or questions, please email us at ethicsfeedback@aaanet.org

With best wishes,

Leith Mullings
AAA President

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