ReImagine Science : Opening a door to a new era in science

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ReImagine Science, in partnership with Ken Paul of the Wolastoqey Nation, Canada, hosted an exploration of Western Science through an Indigenous Knowledge Framework at the World Science Forum in Cape Town Africa focusing on 'Science for Social Justice'

Four people are seen standing shoulder to shoulder in a conference room, with their backs to the camera and heads bowed.

From left to right: Michael Nephew, Kennan Salinero, Jeanne Olund, and Ken Paul during blessing by Michael Nephew, Eastern Band Cherokee, prior to the workshop hosted by ReImagine Science

A key insight from our work with Ken Paul, who led the workshop, is that the current interest in Indigenous Knowledge within science needs to become a partnership. One where the whole Indigenous Knowledge System is embraced, so that heart and spirit are equal partners with intellect and invention.

The non-profit ReImagine Science is proposing a shift in the Western framework of science toward a more holistic approach which would lead to actions that are more sustainable and equitable, nourishing communities, individuals, and ecosystems. On December 6th 2022 ReImagine Science, in partnership with First Nation leaders, invited attendees of the World Science Forum in Cape Town, South Africa to engage in a workshop that utilized an Indigenous Knowledge Framework that could change how science is done.

In this workshop, attendees from around the globe had the opportunity to map Western science with an Indigenous Knowledge Framework by answering the following three questions:

  • What would you want ‘science’ to provide, so the planet and its living beings can thrive?
  • What would you need to enable your work to reach its full potential?
  • What kind of supports are needed to bring about a more holistic science for the future?

At its base, this framework identifies the four areas that are the basis of a healthy system: spirit/culture & environment, heart/social & community, body/technology & economics and mind/knowledge systems & politics, respectively. In our existing science paradigm where the mental and physical are overvalued, scientific discovery can become focused on a model that emphasizes profit. The disconnection from culture, spirit and the environment can result in a lack of ethics and vision, and potential large-scale environmental and ecological damage to our natural world.

Kennan Kellaris Salinero, ReImagine Science Executive Director, states that “A key insight from our work with Ken Paul, who led the workshop, is that the current interest in Indigenous Knowledge within science needs to become a partnership. One where the whole Indigenous Knowledge System is embraced, so that heart and spirit are equal partners with intellect and invention.”

Those who are interested in engaging in further exploration of the four directions framework for scientists and science are encouraged to contact ReImagine Science at contact@reimaginescience.org .

About ReImagine Science https://www.reimaginescience.org
ReImagine Science is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2008 to fundamentally change the way we 'do' science in the United States. It was created on the belief that transformative change in the sciences will better serve humanity, the planet, and science itself.

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Kennan Salinero

Kennan A Salinero
@ReImagineSci
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