||Professor of Anthropology, Brown University, Rhode Island
Professor Dwight Heath is Professor of Anthropology at Brown University, Rhode Island. Born in 1930 he graduated from Havard in Social Relations in 1952 before earning a PhD in Anthropology from Yale in 1959.
Gene Ford, wrote in the Moderation Reader in December 1993 "Most of us remember Margaret Mead as an icon of anthropology - a perceptive, articulate observer of the human scene....I was enthralled with Mead's uncanny ability to interpret quaint and curious customs in some far away land into commentaries on our own civilised fads and fancies. 45 years later, I find the same kind of rich, dispassionate and discerning in sights about drinking in the work of.. Dwight Heath". Fittingly, Dwight Heath was asked to present the Margaret Mead Memorial Lecture at the World Federation on Mental Health in Santiago later that year.
Dwight Heath has specialised in studying alcohol consumption, patterns and problems across different cultures, but particularly in Latin America and amongst North American Indians.He was consultant to the World Health Organisation in the 1970's for Chile, Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Yugoslavia, and studied the feasibility of training primary health-care workers to recognise and deal with alcohol related problems and to look at community responses to such problems in these countries.
Dwight has a particular interest relating to alcohol, culture and history. In 1995 he published an 'International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture', which has been translated in to many languages. Other publications include: 'Alcohol and World Cultures' and 'Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Study of Alcohol: an Interdisciplinary Perspective' Heath has also tackled the politically sensitive areas of control policies and the balance of politics versus science.
Dwight Heath's work has not been restricted to the field of alcohol, although arguably it is for this pioneering work that he is most recognised, he has also written extensively on ethnohistory, land reform, social revolution and cultural change in developing cultures.
He graces many professional and scientific committees and editorial boards in both the US and internationally. He is also, of course, a valued member of the AIM Editorial Board.
After the publication of many books and literally hundreds of papers and articles, Dwight Heath is far from slowing down. His most recent book is 'Drinking Occasions: Comparative Perspectives on Alcohol and Culture' in which he has striven to describe who drinks, what, where, when, how, and why -- as well as what they and other people feel about it -- around the world and throughout history. He has also worked to 'translate' often confusing scientific literature into more digestible and interesting forms in an attempt to broaden the audience for such information. Finally he has not been frightened to highlight what he describes as 'pseudo-science' or 'mis-guided policies' which he feels increase, rather than reduce, social, psychological or other harms to individuals who choose to drink