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How knowledge is governed – or how it ought to be governed – is related to how knowledge is created and valued in society. Academic research largely relies on an extractive model of knowledge creation, where social and natural “capital” are collected and channelled into a linear process to create tangible and intangible products and new ideas. Establishing intellectual property rights to the products of academic research has become an accepted part of the academic enterprise, particularly within university-corporate partnerships.
But how does one determine rights to academic research and innovation when these are based on the long-held knowledge and traditions of Indigenous and local communities, such as Indigenous traditional medicines, or cultural heritage? How well or poorly do academic institutions address collaborative knowledge creation, and sharing of associated rights and responsibilities beyond the corporate partnership model? Such questions raise complex philosophical, ethical, legal and political issues being explored at POLIS around who owns, has access to, and benefits from creating, mobilizing and immobilizing knowledge.
Related Projects and Initiatives
- Code of Ethics of the International Society of Ethnobiology completed in 2006 with in-kind support from POLIS and research assistance from the LE,NONET Project
- Ethics Toolkit, currently under development by the International Society of Ethnobiology and led by Kelly Bannister
- Copyrighting the Past? Emerging Intellectual Property Rights in Archaeology, a paper written by George Nicholas and Kelly Bannister that inspired the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project
- Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project, a SSHRC-funded MCRI project based at SFU with support from POLIS
- Non-legal Instruments for Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage: Key Roles for Ethical Codes and Community Protocols, a forthcoming book chapter by Kelly Bannister as part of the Project for Protection and Repatriation of First Nations Cultural Heritage in Canada
- The Commons Conference, co-sponsored by POLIS in April 2006 as part of the former Forum on Privatization and the Public Domain
- Mobilizing Traditional Knowledge and Expertise for Decision-Making on Biodiversity by Kelly Bannister and Preston Hardison for the consultative process towards an International Mechanism Of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB)
- Mechanisms for Compliance with Access and Benefit-sharing by the Academic Research Community and Lessons for Access and Benefit-sharing: Academic Policies, Community Protocols and Community-level Prior Informed Consent background papers by Kelly Bannister for the Convention on Biological Diversity initiative on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing
- Knowledgemobilization.net, a network to explore ways to support collaborative research and learning
- Canadian Centre for Knowledge Mobilization, an alliance of researchers, practitioners, policy analysts and others working to bring research knowledge to decision makers
Page last updated: 02/03/2013