Israel Borokini is a Ph.D. candidate in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a scientist for the Nigerian federal government. We spoke with him about his work on traditional and ethnomedicinal plant usage, building trust with local communities, properly crediting sources of knowledge, and giving back to partner communities.
Dr. Mónica Feliú-Mójer is Director of Communications & Science Outreach at Ciencia Puerto Rico, Director of Diversity & Communication Training at iBiology, and a Producer with Wonder Collaborative. We spoke with her about teaching science by using relevant cultural context and what to think about when working with communities.
Salman Hameed is Charles Taylor Chair and Associate Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities at Hampshire College. He is also Director of Hampshire’s Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies. We spoke with him about the inspirational power of science communication, assuming people are smart, making science relevant for your audience, and the necessity of a more nuanced understanding of faith perspectives.
Fatimah Jackson is the Director of the W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory and Professor of Biology at Howard University. We spoke with her about the complementarity of Islam and human evolution, involving and empowering community members in research, and how to do scientific justice to human remains.
Kellyn LaCour-Conant is a Two-Spirit Afro-Indigenous ecologist, Director of Habitat Restoration Programs at the Coalition to Restore Central Louisiana (CRCL), and a Ph.D. student in Urban Forestry at Southern University. We spoke with them about viewing restoration ecology as a healing process, how their Indigenous faith informs their work, and why it’s important to consider cultural and historical perspectives when doing conservation.
Shekhar Kolipaka is a biosocial researcher and a conservation practitioner. He researchers the human-dimension aspects of conservation and is affiliated as a guest researcher to the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University, The Netherlands. His conservation interests include implementing solutions for carnivore survival outside protected areas, which he pursues as a Board member of the Leo Foundation, The Netherlands. We spoke with him about his approach to encouraging tiger conservation behavior in local Indian villages.
Annette S. Lee is an Associate Professor of Astronomy and Planetarium Director at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, and Director of Native Skywatchers. We spoke with her about working to reclaim and revitalize Indigenous star knowledge, the challenges of interdisciplinary work, and the importance of avoiding the “grab and go” research model.
Kit Magellan is a Visiting Professor of Aquatic Ecosystems at the University of Battambang in Battambang City, Cambodia. We spoke with her about the importance of community partners, taking full cultural context into account, and improving your science by approaching research with cultural humility.
J. Nathan Matias is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. We spoke with him about introducing Christian perspectives on AI’s role in society to Christian audiences, bridging between scientific and faith-specific content, and working within existing knowledge-sharing networks.
Pamela Payne-Foster is a Professor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Tuscaloosa, focusing on primary care and rural health. We spoke with her about combating the HIV/AIDS stigma in rural African American churches, religion as relevant cultural context for medicine and research, and the importance of building trusting community relationships.