This panel investigates the processes of mobilization, translation and application that are implied in enabling different knowledges to meet and have effect in specific contexts, as traditional and other local knowledges are revalued in the face of challenges such as climate change.
STS has long been interested in the situatedness of all knowledge and the consequences this has for ways of being in the world, and has produced insightful studies of situations where different ways of knowing collide or slide past each other (e.g. Wynne, 1996; Verran, 1998). Today, in the face of challenges such as climate change, environmental degradation and social justice, traditional and other local knowledges are being revalued - but how, by whom, and with what effects? International trends towards participation and co-production, the 'turn' that was first lauded for bringing different actors and knowledges together in newly productive relations, then lambasted as a neoliberal project of co-option and colonisation, show no signs of abating. Rather than rehearse the well-established arguments about the 'dark side' of these trends, we seek "more nuanced analyses of the conflicting rationalities … and the dynamics and contradictions often found at the micro-level" (Brownill & Parker, 2010). And we recognise that this applies as much to the knowledges that we produce as the knowledges we research (Yeh, 2016). This panel invites contributions that investigate the processes of mobilization, translation and application that are implied in enabling different knowledges to meet and have effect in specific contexts. Ranging from Indigenous people reinterpreting the knowledge of their elders to solve contemporary problems, to local knowledges within Western cultures that are tied to particular places and trajectories, we focus on the interfaces where knowledges and worlds come together and how this encounter can become more productive.