By David Ludwig, Vitor Renck & Charbel N. El-Hani
How can local knowledge be effectively and fairly incorporated in transdisciplinary projects? How can such projects avoid “knowledge mining” and “knowledge appropriation” that recognize marginalized knowledge only where it is convenient for dominant actors and their goals? In addition, how can knowledge integration programs avoid being naive or even harmful by forcing Indigenous people into regimes of knowledge production that continue to be dominated by the perspectives of external researchers?
On the other hand, how can transdisciplinary projects avoid an exclusive focus on difference that risks creating an artificial divide between Indigenous/local and scientific knowledge and that contributes to further marginalization by denying the very possibility of meaningful dialogue?
We have addressed these dilemmas by developing a framework of partial overlaps. This is a model and methodology of relating actors beyond simplistic stories of seamless integration or insurmountable difference (Ludwig 2016, Ludwig and El-Hani 2020).