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1/29 @ 5:30 p.m.: Bridging Indigenous and Scientific Knowledges: Multicultural Solutions for Climate Change Research

At 5:30 p.m. on January 29, Kyle White of Michigan State University will present his research on multicultural solutions for climate change research related to indigenous knowledge in Smathers Library East, Room 1A.

Indigenous peoples living in North America have been affected by climate change in many ways, ranging from the losses of “first foods” to the permanent relocation of entire communities. As they develop ways to respond to the effects of climate change, however, Indigenous communities often face obstacles in creating dialogues with scientists, who do not necessarily understand their immediate and long term needs. Some of the key challenges concern bridging gaps in trust, power and expectations as to how to share and integrate empirical knowledge and information about climate change arising from sources as diverse as elders of Indigenous communities and senior climate scientists. This presentation outlines the recent history of dialogues and policies that attempt to foster collaboration across different cultural traditions of knowledge production, from “traditional ecological knowledge” to “climate science.” The presentation then discusses some of the ethical solutions being developed for interdisciplinary and multicultural approaches to climate change that can be used by Indigenous communities for adaptation and mitigation. These solutions represent substantial steps forward toward finding common ground among diverse parties in the U.S. like federally-recognized Indigenous nations, state and federal agencies, universities and research centers, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations.

Kyle Whyte is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University and affiliated faculty for Environmental Science and Policy, the Center for Regional Food Systems, Peace and Justice Studies, Animal Studies and American Indian Studies. Kyle’s most recent research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate change impacts on Indigenous peoples. His research has been published in journals such asHypatia, Climatic Change, Ecological Processes, Synthese, Human Ecology, Journal of Global Ethics, American Journal of Bioethics, Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics, and Environmental Justice, and has been funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Science Foundation, Spencer Foundation, Michigan State’s Creating Inclusive Excellence Grants, and the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Fund. He is a member of the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, and a steering committee member of the Public Philosophy Network and Conference and the Western Cluster of the Networking the Global Humanities Initiative, funded by the Mellon Foundation. He was a member of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Public Philosophy and a  2009 winner of the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

  • This event is free and open to the public.
  • For more information, contact  Humanities Center.

“Civil” Society? On the Future Prospects of Meaningful Dialogue

In 2013-2014, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere at the University of Florida has organized a nine-month speaker series that seeks to understand the dialogues (or lack thereof) about major issues that have gained political traction in the United States. These issues are as basic as the future of our planet, the price of minority discrimination, and how we construct and remember our collective history. This speaker series has two parts. The first semester will examine the fault lines that divide us, and the conditions that prevent reasoned dialogue. The second semester will generate discussions of how we might foster conditions that will bring us closer together, or at least help us to enter into broader dialogue about the human condition. This semester on “healing” these fractures will explore the future impact of digitization on the written word, the importance of solitude to personal transformation, and how academic scholars can productively frame controversial research topics.

This series of six lectures is co-sponsored by the Rothman Endowment at the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere in the College of Liberal Arts and Scienceswith co-sponsorship from the UF LibrariesHonors ProgramDepartment of HistoryDepartment of English,Samuel Proctor Oral History ProgramHyatt and Cici Brown Endowment for Florida Archaeology, and the Office of Sustainability.

For an overview of the Civil Society Speakers series, click here.