In this chapter a female graduate student is belittled by her committee for relying on traditional knowledge to support that tending and selective harvesting of Sweet Grass will help the population grow, while an undisturbed population will slowly deteriorate. I believe that this result is a combination of westernized outlook on traditional means of life, as well as a lack of transdisciplinary experience.
It is not uncommon for traditional medicine, agricultural practices and ways of life to be easily dismissed in the modern era. Rooted in the early colonization of America and the rest of the Western and Eastern World; anything that was not in line with European methods were deemed crude, and rudimentary. Despite being crafted to near perfection for thousands of years. As the modern age of science appeared anything that was did not have peer reviewed backing was thrown out. This mindset is still not uncommon today, which resulted in my disappointment while reading this chapter of Braiding Sweetgrass it did not surprise me.
What did surprise me was the committees lack of knowledge on pruning, selective harvesting and crop management practices. While simultaneously dismissing traditional practices for being without extensive research or proof of results; they have immediately dismissed common practices in westernized agricultural. This is due to the committee's lack of transdisciplinary knowledge and narrowmindedness. Fruit farms across the world do not let their orchards grow wild and untended to produce the most fruit, as the graduate committee would suggest, they carefully prune and tend trees maximize output. Often this will include removing some of the fruit while it is immature, allowing the remaining fruit to grow larger and healthier.
Had this graduate committee had a broader range of knowledge they would not have been so dismissive. I would assume they would still as for more documented experiments to be administered to add to the greater scientific literature; but they would not claim that the proposal didn't even have any "theoretical framework".
Madison Tinker and others of the University of Wyoming Ski Team