8-12 July 2013
Africa/Johannesburg timezone
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Exploring Science Shows that Bridge the Gap between Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and Modern Science: The Lightning (Electricity) Show

Presented by Mr. Mdumiseni NXUMALO on 10 Jul 2013 from 11:30 to 11:50
Type: Oral Presentation
Session: Education
Track: Track E - Physics Education


Across cultures, human perception of natural phenomena has in the past been viewed through beliefs and mythology. Our knowledge development through inquiry and research has led us to much enlightenment about many wonders of nature. Our advancing knowledge still lives side-by side with lots of different beliefs that contrast with modern scientific knowledge. This is more evident in the usually feared natural phenomena such as lightning. In an approach that considers the fact that modern science is not perfect in as far as the understanding of lightning, IK is appreciated alongside modern science knowledge of the subject. The paper aims to explore the science of thunder and lightning and point out common beliefs and local ideas that are often associated with IK. There are some lessons from IK about lightning that are confirmed by modern science which need to be highlighted. Upon presentation of this paper, relevant demonstrations will be conducted and the science behind them will be discussed while reference is made to related IK. In the end, the presentation will have demonstrated how science communicators can use IKS and modern science to address some often stubborn roots of ignorance in our society. Appreciation of good local IK is believed to be a critical ingredient of this undertaking. Promotion of our local IK should in this approach be at the centre of science communication to enhance the embrace of science education as a local development. It is commonly believed that while Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) is underutilized in most parts of the world, it has great potential to enhance different kinds of community development undertakings (Sillitoe et al, 2005).






Location: A0-59

Primary authors