Louise Fortmann

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Louise Fortmann
Rudy Grah Chair in Forestry and Sustainable Development, University of California at Berkeley

Professor Fortmann received her B.A. from the PennsylvaniaStateUniversityand her M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell. Her publications include Whose Trees: Proprietary Dimensions of Forestry (Westview Press, 1988), "Fruits of their Labours: Gender, Property, and Trees in Mhondoro District," (1992), and "Property and Forestry" (1992).


“At the moment my new project is called Democratizing Science: The Politics and Practices of Participatory Research. I am interested in what it would take to institutionalize interdependent science that integrates conventional and civil sciences. Civil science is probably more familiar to you as traditional knowledge or local knowledge. I am particularly interested in women civil scientists. As I got interested in this, I began reading the Science and Technology literature with graduate students in the biophysical as well as social sciences. Their insights were particularly helpful. I still have a lot to learn and look forward to getting more guidance from this literature from all of you!!

As part of this project I am working on an edited book. As I write, it is evolving, but the basic idea is this. The book will consist of paired chapters on participatory research inIndonesia,Honduras,India,Zimbabwe, and theUS. The first of each pair is being written by conventional social and biophysical scientists about successful (from their point of view) participatory research they have done. The second is "written" by the participating civil scientists. In October I will visiting the civil scientist team inHonduraswith women farmers from another part ofHondurasand this is likely to emerge into yet another chapter. Meanwhile, our collective dream was to gather all participants together with a gazillion simultaneous translators and write the conclusions together. Since some of the civil scientists are undocumented workers who can not travel out of theUSand others would never get a visa to theUS, we're still trying to figure out how to make this happen. Stay tuned!”