Sillitoe - Chapter 10
Is Intellectual Property Protection a Good Idea?
The issue raised in this chapter does not relate to the debate about the scientific
status of traditional knowledge in the eyes of the 'modern' scientific tradition,2
or vice versa.3 It is assumed, as also seems widely accepted, that traditional
knowledge has an important role to play in contributing to the progress of science,
and to its application to improve human health and welfare. Traditional
knowledge is complementary rather than competitive with modern science. Each
has something to learn from the other, as argued by several other contributors to
this volume. The holistic and systemic worldview of traditional knowledge,
which emphasises the interconnectedness of both natural and human phenomena,
often provides fresh insights to modern science. The latter, which tends to
proceed by isolationist and reductionist methodologies, may miss the bigger picture
which traditional knowledge offers.