In comparison with the other social and behavioral sciences, there has been a general lack of anthropological input or interest in public policy.
This absence from the public policy arena has been the result of both historical developments and theoretical biases within the field. Nevertheless, there have been certain periods when significant numbers of anthropologists have worked in policy areas-the 1930s. World War Il-but even then their influence was not great. However, in recent years we have witnessed a rapidly growing emphasis on public policy in applied anthropology which promises to give the discipline the opportunity to become atruly holistic policy science.
In addition to the discussion of the factors which have impeded and, more recently, contributed to anthropological involvement with public policy, each of the symposium papers is briefly introduced.