[HASN logo] No. 33, August-September 1994 ISSN 0811-4757
Edited and published by Tim Sherratt (Tim.Sherratt@asap.unimelb.edu.au) for ASAP.

[Conferences logo] Working Disparate Knowledge Systems Together

This seminar/workshop is to be held at Deakin University, Geelong, November 26th and 27th, 1994. The first day of the seminar will consist of invited papers looking at ways in which disparate knowledge systems can be worked together without one being subordinated by the other.

The second day will be a workshop where all the participants can discuss the issues. The groups' work is informed by contemporary studies of the culture and practice of science and technology. From this perspective, all knowledge traditions including science can be understood as local in origin, and hence though they may vary radically, they are capable of comparison. This opens up the possibility of working knowledge systems together and makes a space for discussing ways of doing so. The focus of the seminar/workshop will focus on the ways in which different knowledge systems can be brought together to produce hybrid, local knowledge.

An instance of such co-operation is the Ganma Project run by Yolgnu Aboriginal and Western researchers in Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory. Here Yolgnu Aboriginal and Western mathematical concepts are being linked to form the basis of a reformed mathematics curriculum for Aboriginal children. Similar co-operative ventures are possible in a wide variety of areas including medicine, agriculture, environmental protection and law reform.

At this stage invited speakers include: William Ferea, UPNG; HelenVerran, Melbourne; David Turnbull, Deakin. We expect there to be about thirty participants. We have put our seminar/workshop on the weekend immediately before the Ethics and Development Conference to be held by the Centre for Applied Social Research at Deakin, 28-29th November 1994, in anticipation that many of the people attending that conference will find a commonality of interests and may wish to attend at least the workshop sessions.

We are hoping that the seminar/workshop will help to establish a network of scholars, activists and indigenous spokespeople who might be interested in the culture and practice of different scientific traditions. We plan to continue the endeavour by linking up with the Comparative Scientific Traditions Conference which is already well established in New England. This group has held four international conferences, the first at Hampshire College in 1990. We propose that the Sciences in Society Centre at Deakin and the Comparative Scientific Traditions Conference should join the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University, Canberra, in supporting the conference on 'Science and Other Indigenous Knowledge Traditions' at James Cook University in Cairns, Queensland, in August/September 1996.

If you are working in a context where disparate knowledges are being woven together in unique and different ways, or have an interest in doing such work, please write and tell us about it. If you wish to attend the seminar/workshop, give a paper or join the network, please contact -

David Turnbull
Sciences in Society Centre
Faculty of Arts
Deakin University
Geelong, Victoria 3217
Tel: +61 (0)52 271334 Fax: +61 (0)52 272018
email: turnbull@deakin.edu.au

Helen Verran
Dept. of History and Philosophy of Science
University of Melbourne
Parkville, Victoria 3052
Tel: +61 (0)3 344 4419 Fax: +61 (0)3 344 7959
email: helen.verran@muwayf.unimelb.edu.au

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