Support The World's Smartest Network

Help the New York Academy of Sciences bring late-breaking scientific information about the COVID-19 pandemic to global audiences. Please make a tax-deductible gift today.

This site uses cookies.
Learn more.


This website uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate while others offer you a better browsing experience. You give us your permission to use cookies, by continuing to use our website after you have received the cookie notification. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to change your cookie settings, see our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

We encourage you to learn more about cookies on our site in our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

Re-Framing the Impacts of Cold War CIA Fronts


for Members

Re-Framing the Impacts of Cold War CIA Fronts

Monday, January 30, 2017

Wenner Gren Foundation

Presented By

Anthropology Section


Drawing on two decades of archival and extensive Freedom of Information Act requests, David Price analyzes specific impacts on social science research projects from the Central Intelligence Agency's use of funding fronts to influence social science research during the 1950s and 60s. While most of the known two dozen CIA funding fronts were identified between 1965 and 1975 by investigative journalists and congressional investigations, relatively little scholarly work since then has focused on tracing the specific ways that these CIA fronts shaped the production and consumption of social science knowledge. The passage of time now allows access to CIA records as well as archival collections showing which projects were selected or rejected for funding, and establishing how these fronts connected witting and unwitting scholars with larger projects of interest to the CIA and defense establishment during the Cold War. These materials shed light on how the production of specific scientific knowledge was linked to the political economic systems in which it was embedded.

Buffet Dinner at 5:45 pm ($20 contribution for dinner guests / free for students).

Lecture begins at 6:30 pm and is free and open to the public.


David Price

Saint Martin's University

David Price is a cultural anthropologist and professor of anthropology and sociology at St. Martin's University. His primary research area is the history of anthropology along with various interactions between anthropologists and military/intelligence agencies. Much of Price's historical and contemporary writing focuses on the ethical and political context of anthropological practice. His book Threatening Anthropology (2004) used tens of thousands of Federal Bureau of Investigation files released under the Freedom of Information Act to examine how the FBI harassed anthropologists that were activists in issues of racial equality during the McCarthy era. Subsequent books include Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State (2011) and his 2016 book Cold War Anthropology: The CIA, The Pentagon and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology. Price also has written journalistic exposés on military uses of anthropology in the Human Terrain System program, and on post-9/11 programs bringing the CIA and other intelligence agencies back on to American university campuses. He is a frequent contributor to CounterPunch, and is a member of the Network of Concerned Anthropologists.

Brian Ferguson (discussant)

Rutgers–Newark Colleges of Arts and Sciences

Brian Ferguson is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the program in Global Urban Studies at Rutgers University Newark, NJ. His research and writing focuses on why actual wars happen. His work calls attention to the political structure of decision-making and the total interests of decision-makers. His approaches the anthropology of war not as a disembodied cultural pattern but as an outcome of material political and historical situations. Recently his book The State, Identity and Violence: Political Disintegration in the Post-Cold War World appeared in paperback (2015).

Travel & Lodging

Meeting Location

The Wenner-Gren Foundation

470 Park Avenue South, between 31st and 32nd Streets
8th Floor
New York, NY 10016