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.

Christchurch, New Zealand

Post classification: 
Adventures Afield
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We finished our field clothing ‘try-on’ this afternoon and have been told to report tomorrow (Weds) at 7:00 am. for our flight to the Ice. Of course, we’ve also been told that the weather is currently bad there, so we may not fly. Already, the ‘hurry up and wait’ that is so typical of Antarctic field work has started!

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

Paleobotany Details

There are more than 84,000 entries and in the Paleobotany Collections Database. They encompass all aspects of the paleobotanical collections at the University of Kansas, including permineralized and compression/impression specimens, prepared slides, teaching slides, research slides, figured negatives from published papers, and figured and duplicate peels. The collections consist of tens of thousands of specimens with a large percentage being made up of Permian, Triassic and Jurassic silicified peats and compression/impression plant fossils from Antarctica.

Number of Specimens: 
90,000 lots with an estimated 400,000 specimens
Research Strengths: 
The anatomy, morphology and reproductive biology, as well as plant-animal and plant-microbe interactions of the flora of the Late Permian (~250 million years ago) and Middle Triassic (238 mya) floras from Antarctica.
Senior Curator: 
Collection Manager: 


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