The Leverhulme Wildfires EDI Working Group is pleased to invite you to the first of a series of planned events and activities on ‘Decolonising Fire Science’. This first workshop will be an introduction to the topic, aimed at Centre members and Affiliates. It will be a hybrid event, held on MS Teams and in the Grantham Institute Boardroom, at Imperial College London.
Title: Decolonising Fire Science: an Introduction
Date/Time: Tuesday 5th April, 2-4.30pm
Format: Hybrid – MS Teams and the Grantham Institute Boardroom, ICL, South Kensington. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need the link resent.
Audience: All Centre members and Affiliates. We encourage members from all disciplines (physical as well as social sciences) to participate, and learn from this introductory event.
Chairs: Abi Croker & Adriana Ford
Speakers: Confirmed external speakers include Siseko Kumalo (University of Fort Hare and University of Pretoria) and Mireille Kouyo (KCL African Leadership Centre and the University of Pretoria), and internal speakers from the Centre include Kapil Yadav (KCL), Dr Cathy Smith (RHUL), Professor Jay Mistry (RHUL), and Abi Croker(ICL).
Aim: This workshop will introduce evolving decolonisation conversations regarding scientific research and methodologies, acknowledging that research is a political act and the way in which we exercise and communicate knowledge is deeply embedded in global power dynamics. Together, we will discuss ways in which fire is regarded as a highly politicised resource, yet its management has become depoliticised, impeding epistemological freedom and silencing ‘other’ knowledges in scientific research and, therefore, in decision-making processes. This workshop aims to create a space for us to think about how epistemic freedom can be promoted in academic and research institutions, and how to communicate knowledge that transcends ontological assumptions. This includes thinking about our positionality as a researcher, the purpose of our research enquiry, the theory and assumptions that frame our research question and approach, who we define an ‘expert’, who we are researching for, who we are not reading or whose voices we cannot hear, how and where we communicate our research and the impacts this has on dominant power and knowledge hierarchies, and the ways in which our research impacts the peoples and places we are researching—from whom and where we are often geographically and epistemologically divergent. How can we share knowledge systems across space and time in scientific research?