A Comparative Study of “Indigenous Knowledge” and “Modern Science”

JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) 25244043

Research Clusters

This study will draw on field studies to provide concrete cases as a common subject for an interdisciplinary cooperation in six fields related to the main subject: the relationship of MS and Indigenous Knowledge. (See “Research Organization” below.) In addition, it will aim towards the construction of a general theory based on the analysis of empirical field studies from multiple theoretical perspectives, and investigate the specificities of each individual case. For this reason, this study will be based on feedback between the (1) Fieldwork group and (2) Theoretical research group.

(1) Theoretical research group
This group will consider the cases presented by the Fieldwork group from multiple theoretical perspectives, and develop theory based on critical analyses among the different theoretical standpoints.

①Anthropological studies of IK: Keiichi OMURA (PI), Marie Rouen (Collaborator)
②Anthropology of Science: Goro YAMAZAKI (Member), Casper Jensen (Collaborator)
③STS: Atsuro MORITA (Member)
④Philosophy of Science: Kazunori KONDO (Member)
⑤Interaction Theory (Knowledge Dissemination Processes): Kazuyoshi SUGAWARA (Member)
⑥Information Science: Hirohisa MORI (Member)

(2) Fieldwork group
This group will conduct field studies on the relationship of MS and IK in each of the regions, and present common subjects of study to the Theoretical research group, while empirically verifying the general theory generated by the Theoretical research group in each region, and clarifying the specificities of each case.

①Use and Management of Wildlife in Canadian Arctic (Inuit knowledge): Keichi OMURA (PI)
②Comparattive study of scientific and indigenous knowledge of Wildlife in Botswana (Bushmen knowledge): Kazuyoshi SUGAWARA (Member)
③Use and Management of Land in Australia (Aboriginal knowledge): Sachiko KUBOTA (Member)
④Use and Management of Ocean Resources in Madagascar (Vezo fishery): Taku IIDA (Member)
⑤Use and Management of Ocean Resources in Japan (Okinawan fishery): Taku IIDA (Member)
⑥Water Resource Management in Thailand (Traditional flood control technology): Atsuro MORITA (Member)
⑦Biological Resource Discovery in India (Knowledge of farmers in the state of Uttarakhand):Moe NAKAZORA (Member)
⑧Countermeasures for Abnormal Weather Events in Greenland (Inuit knowledge): Henry Stewart (Member)
⑨pastoralism in Nordic Countries (Sami knowledge): Marie Roué (Member)
⑩Map making: Hirohisa HORI (Member)

(3) Synthesis and Feedback between the Fieldwork and Theoretical research groups
The Theoretical research group will hold biannual group meetings and annual international workshops, working closely with each other on the case studies presented by the Fieldwork group. The Fieldwork group will work together closely on the common task of verifying the general theory developed by the Theoretical research group. The two groups will participate in an annual project research meeting, and conduct concentrated discussions on each of the groups’ results, and provide feedback to each other. Through this close cooperation and connection, a general theory on the relationship between IK and MS that transcends any single case will be developed, and the specificities of each individual case will be clarified.