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Local Science Vs Global Science: Approaches to Indigenous Knowledge in International Development
Volume 4

Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

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Local Science Vs Global Science

Approaches to Indigenous Knowledge in International Development

Edited by Paul Sillitoe

302 pages, 15 figures, 9 tables

ISBN  978-1-84545-014-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2006)

ISBN  978-1-84545-648-1 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (March 2009)

eISBN 978-1-78238-210-2 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“…a fascinating and unusual effort to address audiences in both social-cultural anthropology and general science…The tone and style of writing is precise and economical while it also retains a level of detail that is ethnographically intriguing.”  ·  American Anthropologist

"The reader will find a great number of ideas and issues to think both with and against, making this both an excellent primer and an ideal undergraduate course book, as well as being of interest to anyone already working in the area of knowledge and development."  ·  Social Anthropology

“This collection is much more than a plea for valuing ‘indigenous’ knowledge. It is a reasoned set of arguments to value those things that cannot be measured…a rich mix of approaches developed here... an important reminder…that Western society may not prove to be the best adapted or most advance social formation in a sustainable future.”  ·  JRAI


While science has achieved a remarkable understanding of nature, affording humans an astonishing technological capability, it has led, through Euro-American global domination, to the muting of other cultural views and values, even threatening their continued existence. There is a growing realization that the diversity of knowledge systems demand respect, some refer to them in a conservation idiom as alternative information banks. The scientific perspective is only one. We now have many examples of the soundness of local science and practices, some previously considered “primitive” and in need of change, but this book goes beyond demonstrating the soundness of local science and arguing for the incorporation of others’ knowledge in development, to argue that we need to look quizzically at the foundations of science itself and further challenge its hegemony, not only over local communities in Africa, Asia, the Pacific or wherever, but also the global community. The issues are large and the challenges are exciting, as addressed in this book, in a range of ethnographic and institutional contexts.

Paul Sillitoe is Professor of Anthropology, Durham University. His research interests focus on natural resources management, appropriate technology, and development. He specialises in social and environmental change, sustainable livelihoods, human ecology and ethno-science. He has long-standing interests in the Pacific, and more recently in South Asia. He seeks to further the incorporation of local knowledge in development, having experience with several international development agencies.

Subject: Environmental Studies (General) Development Studies Anthropology (General)
Area: Asia Asia-Pacific Africa


List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Contributors

Chapter 1. Local Science vs. Global Science: an Overview
Paul Sillitoe

Chapter 2. Traditional Medical Knowledge and Twenty-first Century Healthcare: the Interface between Indigenous and Modern Science
Gerard Bodeker

Chapter 3. Local and Scientific Understandings of Forest Diversity on Seram, Eastern Indonesia
Roy Ellen

Chapter 4. ‘Indigenous’ and ‘Scientific’ Knowledge in Central Cape York Peninsula
Benjamin R. Smith

Chapter 5. On Knowing and Not Knowing: the Many Valuations of Piaroa Local Knowledge
Serena Heckler

Chapter 6. The Ashkui Project: Linking Western Science and Innu Environmental Knowledge in Creating a Sustainable Environment
Trudy Sable with Geoff Howell, Dave Wilson, and Peter Penashue

Chapter 7. Globalisation and the Construction of Western and Non-Western Knowledge
Michael R. Dove, Daniel S. Smith, Marina T. Campos, Andrew S. Mathews, Anne Rademacher, Steve Rhee, and Laura M. Yoder

Chapter 8. Science and Local Knowledge in Sri Lanka: Extension, Rubber and Farming
Mariella Marzano

Chapter 9. Creating Natural Knowledge: Agriculture, Science and Experiments
Alberto Arce and Eleanor Fisher

Chapter 10. Is Intellectual Property Protection a Good Idea?
Charles Clift

Chapter 11. Farmer Knowledge and Scientist Knowledge in Sustainable Agricultural Development: Ontology, Epistemology and Praxis
David A. Cleveland and Daniela Soleri

Chapter 12. Forgotten Futures: Scientific Models vs. Local Visions of Land Use Change
Robert E. Rhoades and Virginia Nazarea

Chapter 13. Counting on Local Knowledge
Paul Sillitoe


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