For more than 40 years Field Museum has maintained a vigorous research program on the people and cultures of the Pacific Islands. Initially the focus was on island biogeography and the evolution of this region's remarkable cultural, biological, and linguistic diversity.
Today our focus continues to be on the human diversity of this part of the world as witnessed by the Museum's cultural collections and studied from four strongly interdisciplinary and integrative research perspectives:
1. social network analysis—a remarkable way of seeing the world, studying human diversity, and engaging with real-world problems of survival and adaptation.
2. baseline probability analysis—we are redefining how scientists understand and explain the interplay among history, biology, the physical world, and social life.
3. grounded social cognition—the view that cogni-tion is computation on symbols is now being replaced with new perspectives arguing that social cognition involves interactions among perception, action, the body, material objects, the environment, and other agents during specific and targeted goal achievement.
4. co-curation of the world heritage collections maintained in public trust here at the Field Museum.