Idea Café - Shifting Viewpoints: Is Western Science an Indigenous Knowledge?

Jorge Soberon, Senior Research Scientist, Biodiversity Institute & Biodiversity Modeling and Policy Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Professor
Event Type: 
Fri, 12/06/2013 - 10:00am - 11:00am
Spooner Hall/The Commons

Questions? Call 785.864.6293 or contact us at


So called Indigenous, or Traditional Knowledge (ITK) is viewed by many western scientists with a combination of amusement and doubt, and almost always, implicit judgement. But what if we apply the methods of analysing ITK to western science? After all, western science began its long walk to hegemony as the folk knowledge of the peoples of the Mediterranean region. This exercise will likely prove both illuminating and humbling.

Overview of U.S. Marine Biodiversity Published

Marine biodiversity of the United States is extensively documented, but data assembled by the United States National Committee  for the Census of Marine Life demonstrate that even the most complete  taxonomic inventories are based on records scattered in space and time. Measures of biodiversity other than species diversity, such as ecosystem and genetic diversity, are poorly documented.

New Websites Highlight Biodiversity Research


The Biodiversity Institute has a new home on the web and a new site for the institute's Natural History Museum.

Prominent on the institute's new web site,, are the research, collections and discoveries of its scientists and graduate students who explore and document the life of the planet.

New Biodiversity Institute Web Sites

Coral Reefs and the Gulf Oil Spill

Post classification: 
The Science Life

What a joy it was last fall when NOAA Ocean Explorer announced that researchers had discovered new coral reefs in the Gulf. These are not tropical reefs; they are in the cold, dark depths of the sea. They are comprised of Lophelia pertusa, a stony coral found in deep, dark near-freezing waters. 

Invertebrate Zoology Details

The Invertebrate Collection at the Biodiversity Institute contains 1771 lots, including 122 lots of type specimens.

Number of Specimens: 
hundreds of specimen lots of sea anemones, medusozoans, mussels, land snails, crayfish, earthworms and many other invertebrate specimens
Research Strengths: 
Sea anemones and earthworms

Invertebrate Zoology

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