Reflections on science and culture

Science in context

Folks are packing up and leaving the communication conference in Denver, and I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned from the presentations about science. One thing is clear: if the indigenous community hopes to elevate Native Science to the same plane as Western Science, a paradigm shift needs to occur in our thinking about science.

One element that emerged in the presentations is the role and place of science in culture, and in everyday life. The papers presented reflected how science “lives” within the larger context of our cultural milieu. When we talk about how science in communicated, we can’t separate science from art, literature, technology, education, music…you get the idea.

So, as I head back home to Portland, I’ll be thinking about how we might begin talking about negotating meanings of science—particularly in Native communities—in relationship to other dimensions of life.

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About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. She is enrolled with the Osage tribe.
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