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Towards a Knowledge Commons by Recognizing the Plurality of Knowledge: Experiences with Democratic Governance of Science and Technology

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Bijker, Wiebe E.
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7299
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): knowledge
Abstract: "What could 'knowledge commons' mean? One interpretation would be: The best knowledge made commonly available to all. In this interpretation, it is implicitly assumed that there is one best type of knowledge, and typically this one best type is then taken to be modern scientific knowledge. In this paper I will argue for a second interpretation: 'knowledge commons' is the common sharing of a variety of knowledges. This interpretation builds on the recognition that a plurality of knowledge systems exists; and one of these systems is scientific knowledge; and that a variety of ‘common’ people also have valuable forms of knowledge and expertise. An international project with participants from India, Africa and Europe has been working to give more recognition to the plurality of knowledge. This paper traces some of the roots for that project in current practices of democratic governance of science and technology in Europe. It will thus describe some of the groundwork on which both the Indian and the African Manifestos for Science and Technology have been founded."

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