Andrea

Andrea Berardi

The Open University, Department of Engineering and Innovation
Milton Keynes, UK

Promoting indigenous visual communication

COBRA presents results at the 13th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference, Brazil

May 7, 2014

Andrea Berardi presents the results of Project COBRA at the 13th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference in Brazil on the theme of “science communication for social inclusion and political engagement”.

Andrea Berardi is in Salvador, Brazil to present the results of Project COBRA at the 13th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference (http://www.pcst-2014.org/index.php/en/). The theme of the conference is “science communication for social inclusion and political engagement”, and it is a great opportunity to promote indigenous ‘visual science’ within academia, development practitioners and policy makers. The session Andrea is presenting in is appropriately titled “Local community knowledge and global context” and Andrea will make a strong case for the need for policy makers, academia and practitioners to engage with ‘indigenous science’. In the conclusion to the presentation’s paper, the COBRA team argue that although COBRA’s participatory, visual and systemic approach has enabled wider stakeholder groups, including policy makers, to recognise the contextual, subjective and non-material dimensions of indigenous life, there is still significant scepticism. There is a clear conflict between the principles behind COBRA’s participatory, visual and systemic approach, and the demands of policymakers for scientific, empirically validated communications, which require an imposition on the type and process of data collection, analysis and positioning in the public sphere. What we do know is that it is clear that the bottom-up engagement of indigenous communities within the development, recording, analysis and dissemination of scientific information will significantly enhance their potential for autonomy and self-governance. They will also be able to engage in negotiations with a range of stakeholders, including international policymakers and funding bodies, over the resourcing of local development priorities. It is indigenous communities that have the most to lose if their territories are overexploited and degraded, and it is therefore logical to put them in charge of how scientific information about their own territories is collected and disseminated.

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