Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Washburn, Sherwood L. (1911–2000)
David Alexander Lukaszek
American physical anthropologist Sherwood Washburn's greatest contribution to the field of anthropology was promoting genetics to explain both human variation and as an acting guideline for the basis of a New Anthropology (1951). He was also instrumental in both the fields of primatology and forensic anthropology. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to a highly educated and religious family, Washburn's intellectual capabilities and naturalism were encouraged at an early age. Although the young Washburn showed no interest in theology, his father Henry Bradford Washburn, dean of the Episcopal Theological School, encouraged him to explore other academic interests. Cultivating his youthful interests in zoology, and then biology, would later be instrumental in his synthesized anthropological approach. Among the foundational schools of Buckingham, Belmont, and Groton, the director of Belmont, Herber Howe, was a source of particular encouragement and support for Washburn's scientific interests in genetics. Besides his studies while still in high During ...