Is there an I in 'Science?'

By sharing her narrative as a young girl who questioned why some crop fields were peppered with trees while others were not, Lin Bautze from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Germany unintentionally posed an important question to the audience of Oral Presentation III "Production Methods" on Thursday afternoon. Should research stand by itself, without acknowledging the role of the researcher? Or does the lived experience of a researcher, like Bautze, and the ways it shaped the trajectory of her research, create a new space for the audience to explore the research?

This is certainly a controversial discussion between qualitative researchers, whose position on the research paradigm may vary. Quasi-foundationalists, like myself, would acknowledge a unique lens through which individual researchers analyze and interpret their data. Assuming their analysis is conducted with purposeful reflexivity and self-awareness, I believe that research in #FutureAgriculture has something foundational to gain from the person/s involved in gathering, sorting, analyzing and interpreting their data. From this perspective, I argue we are better equipped as researchers when we allow our intersectionalites to contribute to robust analyses of our data.

This is what Bautze has done in her exploration of alley cropping as an adaptation strategy for a future changing climate in Africa. This should also be the direction #FutureAgriculture research continues moving forward in.



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