Speaker: Prof Bing Liu # Tsinghua University
8th Feb 2016
15:30 - 17:00
Staff Room, 6th floor, Crystal Macmillan Building (University of Edinburgh, George Square)
Research related to the “local knowledge” has become a topical issue in the fields of STS and science communication. In China, recently, scholars have begun to pay attention to the study of local knowledge too. However, influenced by tradition, the scientism tendency remains the mainstream in the Chinese academia under the impact of dialectical materialism. Therefore, the acceptance of the concept of local knowledge tends to be limited. For instance, both in the fields of STS and the public understanding of science, the focus is still mainly on the spread of the Western mainstream scientific knowledge. In particular, this situation in China is related to different understandings of the concept of local knowledge, and different standpoints between the monist view and the pluralist concept of science. In this lecture, the author will first outline the STS studies, its special background, and recent studies about local knowledge in China. Then, two related case studies will be discussed and analyzed. One is about understanding of the body, another about the understanding of poison in Mongolian Medicine. With these case studies, the possible meanings of the studies of local knowledge for the practical development of alternative medicines in China will be revealed.