What Kind of Knowledge for Effective Biodiversity Policy?. Professor Brian Wynne , ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, CESAGen Lancaster University International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity, IMoSEB European Consultation
Professor Brian Wynne,
ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, CESAGen
International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity, IMoSEB
Geneva, 25-27th April 2007
“Measures of biodiversity vary in scale and purpose. They extend beyond the species level to encompass entire habitats and ecosystems, and can also focus more narrowly on the details of populations and genres. No one measure is best for all purposes. A broad suite of measures is necessary to meet specific needs [but the sheer multiplicity of current measures contributes to the difficulty of building public awareness and understanding]”
Measuring Biodiversity for Conservation, Royal Society report, 2004, p.vii.
data – q & q
National resource -
Citizen scientists –
with EA science
For actors’:higher animals, CO1 selected as ‘universal’ genetic marker. Its universality under question: e.g. alternative markers already used in South America (questions of standardisation and governance)
For plants, multiple genetic markers selected by CBOL’s Plant Working Group: DNA bar-coding still an experimental technique – will it work for defined purposes?
Eg species identification alone or evolutionary and ecological approaches to biodiversity – what does barcoding contribute?
CBOL promises global database (BOLD), organised by standard biomarkers and connected to global users-publics by hand held sequencers: immediate global digital archiving and access
Relations between DNA barcode gene-sequence molecular biomarkers, and ‘biodiversity’ ?
Do different local purposes-uses mean different selections of marker? So, global standardisation-comprehensiveness?‘Indigenous’ Biodiversity Stakeholders – CBOL negotiations of needs and science
“the accurate naming of biological specimens is an essential activity in many areas of science and can present a bottleneck that impedes progress: identification by traditional methods is a time-consuming business… The development of universal DNA barcodes provides an opportunity to overcome this constraint by enabling rapid and unequivocal identification on the basis of DNA sequences”(Cowan et al, 2005)
Note not only faster, it is claimed, but “unequivocal” – so better science….??
How will the relationship between vernacular biodiversity knowledge/practice and molecularised, digitised, high-tech approaches develop?
– questions of interoperability + accessibility?
Interdisciplinary ESRC funded research project: Lancaster University and NHM (2006-2009)
Sociology of Scientific Knowledge and Science Studies
Exploring the shifts in taxonomic sciences towards molecurisation and digitisation (DNA Barcoding)
Implications of these shifts for scientific, policy and public communities
http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/projects/taxonomy/“Taxonomy at a Crossroads: science, policy and publics in biodiversity”