Oh Wait, Rick Scott Loves Anthropology!

The Saint Petersburg Times is reporting that Florida Governor Rick Scott, who last week said anthropologists were not needed in the state, now loves people who major in anthropology.

Scott told the [Westshore Alliance] he wants to emphasize science, technology, engineering and math degrees, or “degrees in things where you can get jobs.” Scott faced criticism last week when he told a radio talk show host that Florida doesn’t need “a lot more anthropologists in this state.”

One of Scott’s daughters, Jordan Kandah, has an anthropology degree from the College of William and Mary.

“I love anthropology degrees, just so you know,” Scott told the crowd of about 400, which included Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Scott then recounted a phone conversation with his daughter after the story broke.

“‘Dad, do you know I’m the No. 1 story on Yahoo! today?'” Scott said, mimicking his daughter to laughter.

Still, a quick laugh cannot hide his main emphasis on STEM degrees as the only ones that offer jobs, and that funding should be shifted in that direction and presumably away from the social sciences and liberal arts.

Link to St. Pete Times’ At Tampa stop, Gov. Rick Scott says, ‘I love anthropology degrees’. But really there’s not much more there related to anthropology.


Tampa Bay Online provides a slightly different view of Scott’s comments on anthropology today, more in line with what I suggested above. Here is a relevant piece from Scott dings anthropology, showcases local manufacturing:

Gov. Rick Scott says he loves anthropology majors. He just wants them to know there may be no jobs for them when they graduate.

Science and technology majors, on the other hand, are the ones who will boost the Florida economy, he said…

Scott repeated here some observations that brought him attention last week, saying anthropology – the science of comparing human societies – is less desirable in today’s job market and suggesting state-funded colleges should shift resources to programs in science, math and technology.

That set Scott up for some criticism from his own daughter, Jordan, an anthropology major, who told her father that she didn’t appreciate being a news topic.

Scott told the Tampa crowd he took note of the criticism, but told both his daughters, “Look, you have to get degrees in things where you can get jobs.”

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