Backchannels | What a new university in Africa is doing to decolonise social sciences | Society for Social Studies of Science

“#1: By 2019, everything we assign our students will be open source

Like most institutions of higher education in Africa (and across much of the world) ALU’s library is limited. Students often deal with this by flouting copyright and piracy laws and illegally downloading material. We don’t want to train our students to become habitual law breakers. Nor do we want them to accept second-tier access to commodified knowledge.

Our aspiration is that by 2019 everything we assign in our programme will be open source. This will be achieved by building relationships with publishers, writers and industry leaders, and negotiating partnerships for equitable access to knowledge. This will ensure that a new generation of thinkers is equipped with the analytic tools they need.

It will also move towards undoing centuries of knowledge extraction from Africa to the world that has too often taken place with little benefit to the continent itself….”

What do you call a homepage? Incorporating indigenous knowledge into Wikipedia – Wikimedia Blog

First Nation in Canada may soon have a Wikipedia to call their own.

The Atikamekw Nehirowisiw Nation, located in central Quebec, is one of the few aboriginal peoples in Canada where virtually the entire population still speaks the language, making it among the most vibrant among the First Nations.

An ongoing project, the first of its kind in Canada, is working with the Atikamekw community to develop Wikipedia content in their own language. The initiative’s goal is to one day have the Atikamekw Wikipedia, currently in the Wikimedia incubator join one of the hundreds of extant Wikipedias.

‘It is a way to pass on ancestral knowledge using computers and it allows to preserve traditional practices,” project member Nehirowisiw says. ‘It is an educational tool for all.'”

The IPKat: Traditional Knowledge: beware of patent protection

“Protection of Traditional Knowledge (TK) is a complex legal issue, owing to its dynamic nature, lack of definition and the difficulty in establishing ownership and the geographical origin of TK, as well as the absence of an appropriate scheme for its protection. Indigenous communities and traditional knowledge practitioners all over the world are greatly concerned about the increased biopiracy and usurpation by commercial entities. It is in this context that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in India formulated the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), which is an endeavor to preempt the grant of patents on India’s TK. TKDL contains approximately 2,08,000 formulations based on the traditional healing systems, such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Yoga.

TK Digital Libraries are the best defensive mechanism to prevent the patenting of TK already written down in ancient texts and manuscripts, although it still leaves scope for private appropriation of TK by making cosmetic improvements on it. …”

The IPKat: Traditional Knowledge: beware of patent protection

“Protection of Traditional Knowledge (TK) is a complex legal issue, owing to its dynamic nature, lack of definition and the difficulty in establishing ownership and the geographical origin of TK, as well as the absence of an appropriate scheme for its protection. Indigenous communities and traditional knowledge practitioners all over the world are greatly concerned about the increased biopiracy and usurpation by commercial entities. It is in this context that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in India formulated the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), which is an endeavor to preempt the grant of patents on India’s TK. TKDL contains approximately 2,08,000 formulations based on the traditional healing systems, such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Yoga.

TK Digital Libraries are the best defensive mechanism to prevent the patenting of TK already written down in ancient texts and manuscripts, although it still leaves scope for private appropriation of TK by making cosmetic improvements on it. …”