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.

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

Mammalogy Details

Mammalogy has extensive historical collections from Central America, Mexico and the southeast, central and western regions of the United States, as well as Alaska. Most of the collection consists of nicely prepared skins, skulls and complete skeletons, with most recent specimens accompanied by tissues. There is broad taxonomic coverage, including important holdings of Central and South American marsupials, insectivores, bats and rodents; Holarctic shrews, microtines and squirrels; and North American bats, insectivores, carnivores, rodents and lagomorphs.

Number of Specimens: 
169,000 specimens
Research Strengths: 
conservation of Latin American mammals; population ecology, host-parasite relationships, and disease ecology of mammals of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains; historical biogeography and evolution of Southeast Asian bats and insectivores; and phylogeography of Pacific Northwest mammals


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