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Hundreds of Social Scientists Set to Converge on Downtown

Approaching Pittsburgh issues such as natural gas extraction, the arts, community development and public health from a social science bent will be the focus of “Pittsburgh Day” and the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology on March 24 at the Omni William Penn Hotel.

Pittsburgh Day is the first part of the four-day social science conference that will bring more than 1,800 members of the society to downtown Pittsburgh. Kathleen Musante, the group’s incoming president and anthropology professor at the University of Pittsburgh, said society members will come from all across the United States and several other countries.

“But we’re all united in our interest in creating research and theory that really addresses critical issues and problems in the contemporary world,” Musante said.

The society unites government policymakers, academics, scientists and other professionals to apply their skills and research to studying and find solutions to quality of life problems faced around the world. The group will celebrate its 75th anniversary during this year’s conference, and Musante said Pittsburgh was a natural location choice.

“The society felt that Pittsburgh was one of the places in the United States that really exemplified a strong commitment to overcoming shifting economic issues and building a city that was sustainable and vibrant,” Musante said.

Pittsburgh Day will feature local experts and lecturers and is free to the public. Highlights of the day include a public health discussion at 5:30pm and an 8:30pm viewing of “Triple Divide,” a documentary about natural gas fracking.