Science & Orality: a 65,000+ Year Old Knowledge Base

It’s NAIDOC Week, and what better time to reflect on the significance of the world’s oldest continuous cultures and the incredibly complex knowledge systems that have been sustained through the remarkable practice of “orality?” Dr Duane Hamacher and Krystal de Napoli from Monash University have delivered a number of terrific lectures for audiences across Victoria this year for the Inspiring Australia program, and we’ve prepared these highlights from Duane’s presentation to the Royal Society of Victoria in February to share his passion for the science traditionally encoded in story, song, dance, landscape and skyscape by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.

“For tens of thousands of years, Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people have paid incredibly close attention to the world around them (and still do today), have developed knowledge systems that are more complex than we could ever imagine, are as intellectually capable as anybody else (if not much more), and their traditions have a very detailed scientific component that we can learn from if we just shut up, and listen.”

Shutting up. Listening.

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