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

Vertebrate Paleontology Details

For more than a century, the KU vertebrate paleontology program has sustained a national and international reputation. During the last decade we have witnessed a renewed interest in paleontology among evolutionary biologists, leading British paleontologist Colin Patterson to proclaim that “Paleontology is back at the high table.” Cutting-edge paleontological research that has drawn great attention in the past decade is on the origin of birds and dates back to 1995 when Confuciusornis sanctus was first described here at Dyche Hall.

Number of Specimens: 
150,000 specimens
Research Strengths: 
Paleozoic and Mesozoic fishes, Paleozoic tetrapods, Mesozoic marine vertebrates, Cenozoic small mammals and Natural Trap Cave fauna
Collection Manager: 

Vertebrate Paleontology

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