The Wenner-Gren Foundation has recently launched two initiatives to raise the public profile of anthropology as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations in 2016.
The first is a new grant programme called “Innovations in the Public Awareness of Anthropology” that will fund innovative public awareness projects. These grants of up to US$20,000 are designed to encourage anthropologists to develop novel and effective ways of increasing the visibility of anthropology for the general public and highlighting anthropology’s relevance in the modern world. Applications for public awareness initiatives are now open to people from any institutional affiliation, country of residence, or nationality. There is no time limit on the duration of the grant. The deadline for applications is 1 June 2016.
The second initiative is SAPIENS, a new editorially independent online publication dedicated to bringing anthropology to the public, to make a difference in how people see themselves and the people around them. SAPIENS launched in January 2016 and features news coverage, commentaries, reviews, photo essays, and much more.
SAPIENS is currently running a competition with Allegra (an online collective of academics) to discover new public anthropologists. Called Will the Next Margaret Mead Please Stand Up?, this competition invites submissions for timely and engaging articles that are accessible yet authoritative, exciting yet not sensationalistic. In particular, they welcome narrative-driven submissions that will appeal to a broad, college-educated readership, while demonstrating how anthropology contributes to a shared understanding of our world. Winners receive a cash prize and their work published in SAPIENS and Allegra in 2016. The competition deadline is 1 June 2016.
Anyone can become involved with SAPIENS by alerting the editorial team to research that would be relevant to a public audience. Anthropologists and journalists are also invited to write for the site.