Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

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Purpose and Chance in the Making of an Academic Career (Or, at least, in my academic career)

February 7, 2023

Personal happiness, that is success, don't measure it in terms of accumulation of goods, measure it in accumulation of satisfaction.

On this farewell seminar celebrating his retirement and his 29 years of work at STRI, Dr. Fernando Santos-Granero ponders on how his career as a social anthropologist has been defined as much by purpose as by chance. By this he means that, while his career has been driven by certain recurring interests, questions, and issues, it also owes much to chance events and encounters. For this reason, rather than an academic talk, this seminar is a meta-academic reflection; a review of the various research lines that he has followed, the common threads that pervade much of what he has written, and of the many chance events that have led him to unexpected research paths.

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