Monday, 29 October 2012

Participatory Research

It turns out that participatory research is not such an easy task.

All the investigations we do are expressly done to benefit the community and biodiversity - to work collaboratively with local healers and wild collectors and to produce outcomes which directly benefit them; offer tools and methods for the conservation of biodiversity and traditional practices; empower the people to tell about the role they play in conservation.

We are just there to interpret the story of the people an their relationship to nature. We look at it with researchers eyes, trained to be systematic and attempting to be as objective as possible. - (In-cognito?)

The interpreter has a role to play in the subject though. 'Any half-awake materialist well knows - that which you hold holds you.'

Here is another poem by Walt Whitnam 'When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer' - It speaks volumes to the issue of speaking about and trying to do 'science' with people.

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
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