[MARMAM] New article on Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Benedict Singleton benedict.singleton at slu.se
Tue Dec 14 23:25:28 PST 2021

Dear all,

Apologies for any cross-posting. I am pleased to announce that a new paper in The Anthropocene Review has come out that focuses on collaborations around Traditional Ecology Knowledge within environmental science. It is titled Toward productive complicity: Applying 'traditional ecological knowledge' in environmental science. While marine mammalogy is only briefly mentioned in a couple of cases I hope that it is still of relevance to list-members. Indeed, its development has been stimulated through my participation in ECS conferences. Our intention with this article is that the discussion is of relevance for scholars involved involved in any cross-cultural knowledge collaborations. Details of the article are below. I attach the paper for for your convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Benedict Singleton

Toward productive complicity: Applying 'traditional ecological knowledge' in environmental science
Culture and tradition have long been the domains of social science, particularly social/cultural anthropology and various forms of heritage studies. However, many environmental scientists whose research addresses environmental management, conservation, and restoration are also interested in traditional ecological knowledge, indigenous and local knowledge, and local environmental knowledge (hereafter TEK), not least because policymakers and international institutions promote the incorporation of TEK in environmental work. In this article, we examine TEK usage in peer-reviewed articles by environmental scientists published in 2020. This snapshot of environmental science scholarship includes both critical discussions of how to incorporate TEK in research and management and efforts to do so for various scholarly and applied purposes. Drawing on anthropological discussions of culture, we identify two related patterns within this literature: a tendency toward essentialism and a tendency to minimize power relationships. We argue that scientists whose work reflects these trends might productively engage with knowledge from the scientific fields that study culture and tradition. We suggest productive complicity as a reflexive mode of partnering, and a set of questions that facilitate natural scientists adopting this approach: What and/or who is this TEK for? Who and what will benefit from this TEK deployment? How is compensation/credit shared? Does this work give back and/or forward to all those involved?

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