09/09/16 - Tocqueville Lecture Series: Tun Myint: "Citizen Science in a Democracy: The Case of Thai Baan Research"
From David Price
Over half a century of the power struggle between local communities and the state on environmental governance issues in Southeast Asia, the conception of data, knowledge, and science went through critical interpretation as a more open framework of governance structures emerged in the majority of the countries. In the Eurocentric view of education and political orders, the science is perceived to belong to offi cial academic practices and believed to be taken as the ultimate authority in decision-making processes of governmental institutions. This view of science considers local knowledge and tacit knowledge as inferior in decision-making processes. The paper examines the case of Thai Baan research, which counters the Eurocentric practice of science. In so doing, the paper explains how cooperative science conducted by local communities and citizens plays a critical role in animating associational life in democracy and democratic decision-making processes.