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Message posted on 22/05/2019

CfP - special issue "Ethnobiology - Perspectives from History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science"

Call for Papers
Ethnobiology - Perspectives from History, Philosophy, and Sociology of

Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical
Ludwig and Francisco Vergara-Silva (eds.)

Ethnobiology is an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of
biological and social sciences that studies knowledge systems and practices
of Indigenous, traditional, and other local communities. The complexity of
biological expertise beyond academia raises both theoretical and normative
questions about knowledge diversity in biological and environmental
research. First, there are epistemological and ontological questions about
different ways of producing, organizing, and validating biological
knowledge. Second, there are ethical and political questions about the role
of different knowledge systems in shaping policies and practices. Despite
these complex theoretical and normative issues, ethnobiology currently
lacks integration with debates in History and Philosophy of Science (HPS)
and Science and Technology Studies (STS) more generally. This special issue
aims to synthesize these academic discourses and thereby develop an agenda
for history, philosophy, and social studies of ethnobiology. We invite
contributions that address questions such as:

- How does research on local biological knowledge relate to
philosophical debates about expertise, knowledge diversity, and standpoint
- How do cross-cultural similarities between biological epistemologies,
ontologies, and values contribute to debates about issues such as
universals, natural kinds, and ontological realism?
- How do cross-cultural differences between biological epistemologies,
ontologies, and values contribute to debates about issues such as
incommensurability, social construction, and relativism?
- How are biological knowledge systems and environmental practices
related to wider intellectual traditions such as Buddhist, Buen Vivir, or
Ubuntu philosophies?
- How does local knowledge interact with normative questions about
epistemic injustice and the political ecology of bioprospecting,
traditional medicine, climate injustice, food sovereignty, forest
conservation, and so on?
- How did ethnobiology become institutionalized as an academic field and
what historical factors have shaped its agendas?
- How does the relatively short history of institutionalized
ethnobiology relate to the long history of interactions between academic
biologists and local experts? How do they relate to (anti-)colonial
histories of botany from the British Raj to the Dutch West Indies?
- What does ethnobiology mean for life sciences in the “Global South”
and how does the field challenge hierarchies between geographic centers
peripheries of biological research?
- What is the contribution of ethnobiology to wider debates about
participatory research, responsible innovation, inclusive policy, and
public engagement with science?

Please submit an abstract of max. 500 words until 20 July 2019 to and We will invite full papers by 1
August 2019 and the deadline for full papers is 1 November 2019. Full
papers will have to follow the general Guide for Authors of Studies in
History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.


David Ludwig | Wageningen University | Hollandseweg 1 | 6706 KN Wageningen
+31 (0)647847908 | |

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