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Plants, people and health: Three disciplines at work in Namaqualand

Green, Lesley J.F., Gammon, David W., Hoffman, M. Timm, Cohen, Joshua, Hilgart, Amelia, Morrell, Robert G., Verran, Helen and Wheat, Nicola (2015). Plants, people and health: Three disciplines at work in Namaqualand. South African Journal of Science,111(9-Oct).

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Plants, people and health: Three disciplines at work in Namaqualand
Author Green, Lesley J.F.
Gammon, David W.
Hoffman, M. Timm
Cohen, Joshua
Hilgart, Amelia
Morrell, Robert G.
Verran, Helen
Wheat, Nicola
Journal Name South African Journal of Science
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 111
Issue Number 9-Oct
ISSN 0038-2353   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication South Africa
Publisher Science Academy of Science of South Africa
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract In Paulshoek, Namaqualand, three research projects focusing on medicinal plants were developed concurrently. The projects were based in the disciplines of anthropology, botany and chemistry. In this paper, we explore how these projects related to one another and describe the conversations that occurred in the process of searching for transdisciplinary knowledge. The projects ostensibly shared a common object of knowledge, but it was through working together that the medicinal plants constituted us as a community of scholars. As our insight into our respective disciplinary relationships with the plants grew, so did our understanding of the limitations of our respective disciplinary positions. The process made possible a ‘reimagination’ of both the object of study and our relationships to it and to one another. The research project, conceptualised in 2009, engaged current debates on indigenous knowledge and its historical erasures, and offered an approach that has potential to produce new knowledges while respecting the integrity of the disciplines. This approach requires a non-competitive attitude to research and one that acknowledges the contributions that can be made by multiple approaches.
Keywords Interdisciplinarity
Scientific knowledge
Medicinal plants
Natural products chemistry
Indigenous knowledge
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Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License South Africa 2.5.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 2.5 License

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