Indigenous Science with Dr. Jessica Hernandez

Antonio Campoy, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

Is Western science always the best science? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Marcia Belsky discuss Indigenous methods to combat climate change with Indigenous scientist and author Dr. Jessica Hernandez. 

What can we learn from Indigenous science? We talk about reductive versus holistic approaches to science and how sociology informs the rest of science. Where does aspirin come from? Learn about traditional medicinal plants, the Maya Ch’orti’ people, and how Indigenous knowledge can help us fix climate change. 

Discover how much of the world’s biodiversity exists on Indigenous lands. How much of the Earth is considered Indigenous? We learn about the Land Back Movement and other movements to reclaim land embedded in environmentalism. Can you harvest wood without killing trees? Find out how. We explore the concept of ancestral knowledge and Native writing traditions. How much did we lose through colonialism and slavery? 

How do we get policymakers to listen to solutions Indigenous people have been saying for generations? Does it always take an environmental catastrophe in order for people to listen? We discuss the co-opting of permaculture, how Indigenous methods can help us curtail forest fires, and how spirituality and science intertwine. Is it really possible to separate science from the influences of the world? All that and more on another episode of StarTalk!

Thanks to our Patrons Jennifer E Carr, Ruben, Peter Kellner, Michele Bontemps, eric secrist, Zebulon C, Travis Ryan Otter, Matthew Young, SevereFLIPPER, and Cleo K for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

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