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21.05.2019 09:17 Alter: 26 days


Call for Publications

Theme: Ethnobiology
Subtitle: Perspectives from History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science
Publication: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and
Biomedical Sciences
Date: Special Issue
Deadline: 20.7.2019

From David Ludwig <>

Ethnobiology is an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of
biological and social sciences that studies knowledge systems and
practices of Indigenous, traditional, and other local communities.
The complexity of biological expertise beyond academia raises both
theoretical and normative questions about knowledge diversity in
biological and environmental research. First, there are
epistemological and ontological questions about different ways of
producing, organizing, and validating biological knowledge. Second,
there are ethical and political questions about the role of different
knowledge systems in shaping policies and practices. Despite these
complex theoretical and normative issues, ethnobiology currently
lacks integration with debates in History and Philosophy of Science
(HPS) and Science and Technology Studies (STS) more generally. This
special issue aims to synthesize these academic discourses and
thereby develop an agenda for history, philosophy, and social studies
of ethnobiology. We invite contributions that address questions such

- How does research on local biological knowledge relate to
philosophical debates about expertise, knowledge diversity, and
standpoint theory?

- How do cross-cultural similarities between biological
epistemologies, ontologies, and values contribute to debates about
issues such as cognitive universals, natural kinds, and ontological

- How do cross-cultural differences between biological epistemologies,
ontologies, and values contribute to debates about issues such as
incommensurability, social construction, and relativism?

- How are biological knowledge systems and environmental practices
related to wider intellectual traditions such as Buddhist, Buen
Vivir, or Ubuntu philosophies?

- How does local knowledge interact with normative questions about
epistemic injustice and the political ecology of bioprospecting,
traditional medicine, climate injustice, food sovereignty, forest
conservation, and so on?

- How did ethnobiology become institutionalized as an academic field
and what historical factors have shaped its agendas?

- How does the relatively short history of institutionalized
ethnobiology relate to the long history of interactions between
academic biologists and local experts? How do they relate to
(anti-)colonial histories of botany from the British Raj to the Dutch
West Indies?

- What does ethnobiology mean for life sciences in the “Global South”
and how does the field challenge hierarchies between geographic
centers and peripheries of biological research?

- What is the contribution of ethnobiology to wider debates about
participatory research, responsible innovation, inclusive policy, and
public engagement with science?

Please submit an abstract of max. 500 words until 20 July 2019 to: and

We will invite full papers by 1 August 2019 and the deadline for full
papers is 1 November 2019. Full papers will have to follow the
general Guide for Authors of Studies in History and Philosophy of
Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

David Ludwig and Francisco Vergara-Silva

Journal website: