Margaret Mead was something of an anthropology superstar. After all, how many other anthropologists can you name? Her birthday is December 18 and she lived in the Village at 72 Perry Street and 193 Waverly Place.
She is credited with saying this, although some dispute that she did:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
She definitely did write the following, however:
No society has ever yet been able to handle the temptations of technology to mastery, to waste, to exuberance, to exploration and exploitation. We have to learn to cherish this earth and cherish it as something that's fragile, that's only one, it's all we have. We have to use our scientific knowledge to correct the dangers that have come from science and technology.
Radio excerpt reproduced by Voice of America (17 January 2010)
If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.
Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935)
The first step in the direction of a world rule of law is the recognition that peace no longer is an unobtainable ideal but a necessary condition of continued human existence. But to take even this step we must return to a calm and responsible frame of mind in which we can face the long patient tasks ahead.
"Are Shelters the Answer?" The New York Times Magazine (26 November 1961), p. 125.