Historical context

We need to educate ourselves on the historical and cultural context in which we as people and institutions operate. Soil science has historically been used as a tool of colonialism, used to suppress opposition to authoritarian regimes and evict and exploit indigenous peoples. This context raises the question of who is really benefiting from our research, and what unexpected (to us) impacts might our work be having? Further reading The very grounds underlying twentieth-century authoritarian regimes: building soil fertility in Ittalian Libya and the Brazilian Cerrado. [Read More]

Local knowledge

The importance of respecting and incorporating local knowledge. Recognise the different forms of expertise, consider the impact our work has on local communities, seek informed consent and respect local culture abiding by local written and unwritten rules. Establish collaborations that are synergistic and do not fall into “helicopter science”, incorporating capacity building components into projects. Further reading Ten simple rules for Global North researchers to stop perpetuating helicopter research in the Global South. [Read More]