P.L. Owen, T. Johns, N.L. Etkin

Journal of Ethnopharmacology 134 (3) 999-1005 (2011)

As significant contributors to the generation, dissemination and publication of scientific knowledge, graduate students have considerable leverage on publication trends and the future direction of ethnopharmacology. The rigid discipline-oriented framework of academia is often cited as responsible for impeding interdisciplinarity, particularly for fields such as ethnopharmacology which span both the natural and social science domains. Funding opportunities, funding eligibility periods, time-to-degree patterns and departmental expectations and requirements for graduate students enrolled in the natural sciences are considerably different than for those in the social sciences. Consequently, adequate acquisition of ethnographic data is often compromised. Encouraging students to think across disciplines, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and flexibility in regards to the time and financial constraints imposed by departments and funding agencies would increase the likelihood of contextualizing bioscientific data with adequate traditional empirical knowledge, and ultimately embrace the core objectives on which the JEP was conceived.