The Science and Astronomy of Indigenous Australians

David Caro building, Level 7 conference room

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  • Dr. Duane Hamacher
    Dr. Duane Hamacher, Faculty
    Monash Indigenous Studies Centre

    Email: Duane.Hamacher[at]monash.edu

Abstract

As scientists, we often dismiss traditional knowledge as myth, legend, and folklore. Without written records, and with so many oral traditions containing supernatural elements, how can we take it seriously? This view is a product of Western scientific discourse and poses an obstacle to our understanding of Indigenous knowledge systems, which have been developed for tens of thousands of years of observation, experimentation, and application. Rather than dismissing this as myth, scientists are now working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders to explore the crossroad between science and culture - finding innovative new solutions to ongoing problems and reconsidering the ways we think of orality, science, and Indigenous cultures.