On May 7, 1950, renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead led a lecture, presented by the University of California.

Mead was notable for her forays into topics from sexual attitudes in Southeast Asia to women’s rights, child-rearing, sexual morality, nuclear proliferation, race relations, environmental pollution, and world hunger.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead made her mark on the 20th century through her fieldwork studying detailing the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures.

Mead’s fame owed as much to the force of her personality and her outspokenness as it did to the quality of her scientific work. Her research went on to influence the 1960’s sexual revolution as she became a proponent of broadening sexual conventions within the context of Western cultural traditions.

“[Margaret Mead] brought the central insight of cultural anthropology to millions: that varying cultural patterns express an underlying human unity. She mastered her discipline, but she also transcended it. Intrepid, independent, plain spoken, fearless, she remains a model for the young and a teacher from whom all may learn.” – Jimmy Carter

Mead’s contributions to science received special recognition when at the age of 72 she was elected to the presidency of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1979 she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor.

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